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Allspice Vs Mixed Spice – No They Are Not The Same

allspice vs mixed spice

Allspice Vs Mixed Spice

There is some confusion here as I know many great home cooks who just buy the ready made ground spices and therefore don’t appreciate fully the origins of allspice vs mixed spice.

Allspice is a dried berry that hasn’t quite matured. Mixed spice is a collection of dried spices such as cinnamon, coriander and caraway seeds, ginger root, nutmeg and cloves. Allspice is more of a savory ingredient, whereas mixed spice goes into your Winter cake mixes.

Allspice has a pungency missing from the sweetness of mixed spice.

allspice vs mixed spice

What Is Allspice Vs Mixed Spice

Allspice is the dried berry of the Pimenta dioica tree. It is not ripe when harvested and this gives it the pungency needed. The tree grows native to the Caribbean and some of Central America, meaning it goes well with foods that are traditional to these areas too.

Mixed spice is made up of ground cinnamon (made from the dried bark) coriander seeds, caraway seeds, nutmeg, cloves and ground ginger. These are not combined in a 1:1 ratio as cloves and nutmeg are very pungent in themselves. The majority of the mix is from the cinnamon and coriander. Then the remaining 10% is made up from the other spices.

Taste Of Allspice Vs Mixed Spice

Allspice is a consistent flavor, whereas mixed spice depends on the brand you purchase.

Allspice tastes like a very strong mix of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, hence it’s name being given to represent that one spice can taste like a mix of several. Mixed spice in contrast has those ingredients but is warm and sweet. There is a spiciness and woody background note as well.

You can make your own blend of mixed spice to bring out the flavors you want to highlight.

How To Make Your Own Mixed Spice

In the UK Schwartz make the most popular mixed spice blend, so when a recipe is asking for 1 teaspoon of mixed spice this is the blend they are no doubt referring to. It is readily available in most supermarkets but you can check prices and availability on Amazon here.

To make your own mixed spice you will need;

  • 4 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger

You can buy them ready ground or for the seeds you can use a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.

mixed spice vs allspice
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Recipes To Try

Now let’s just have a little look at a few recipes that can give you a little more spice in your life.

  • Apple or fruit crumble with a teaspoon of mixed spice sprinkled over the fruit as it is cooking, or added to the crumble mix. This can create a real warmth to your fruit crumble and go well with custard or ice cream.
  • Christmas Cake Recipe or simply a rich fruit cake that is iced and eaten in Winter! This recipe gives plenty in terms of spice! Give your Yuletide a touch more oomph!
  • Homemade Mincemeat, well why not go the extra mile at Christmas? This recipe allows you to batch produce and then you can give as gifts as well!

What Next & Further Reading

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