pimento

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

pimento or allspice, common names for a tree (Pimenta dioica or P. officinalis) of the family Myrtaceae (myrtle family) cultivated in the West Indies for its dried unripe berries, used medicinally and as a spice (also called pimento or allspice). The spice supposedly combines the flavors of several other spices, hence the name; it is used chiefly in pickles and relishes. The leaves and berries yield an essential oil used for flavoring, e.g., in Benedictine and other liqueurs. In America the names pimento and allspice are also applied to plants of other families: pimento to the large, sweet Spanish pepper (Span. pimento) of the nightshade family, and allspice to several aromatic shrubs, e.g., the Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus), a cultivated ornamental, and the wild allspice, or spicebush (Lindera benzoin), of the family Lauraceae (laurel family). Pimento is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales, family Myrtaceae.

views updated

pi·men·to / pəˈmentō/ • n. (pl. -tos) 1. variant spelling of pimiento. 2. chiefly W. Indian another term for allspice (sense 2).

views updated

pimento Jamaica pepper or allspice, tree yielding this. XVII. — Sp. pimiento — L. pigmentum PIGMENT, in medL. spiced drink, (hence) spice, pepper.

views updated

pimento See allspice.