Allspice – When Columbus saw the small, dark berries of the Pimenta dioica plant growing wild in the West Indies, he thought he had found the pepper he was seeking in the Far East, and therefore the Spanish name for this spice is pimienta (pepper). Its English name is derived from the fact that the taste resembles a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and nutmeg or mace. Widely available throughout the world in whole or powdered form, the smart cook will buy the whole berries because of their almost indefinite shelf life. It is often used in baked goods, stews, and pickling mixtures. The bulk of the world’s production goes into commercial ketchups and other sauces.