Allspice vs 5 Spice: What’s The Difference?

allspice vs 5 spice
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allspice vs 5 spice

From the old ages, man has tried to improve his quality of life. The focus was on necessities of life like food, clothing, shelter, etc. Either you cook the food or boil it, its flavorful taste comes through spices and seasonings.

Two of the most used spices are allspice and 5 spice. Each has its distinct properties and is used for various purposes. The culinary world is full of recipes from these two spices. So, if you are wondering the difference between the two and where they can be used, then read on. We have listed some surprising facts.

Allspice vs 5 Spice


Allspice is a famous spice that is made from dried berries of the allspice tree. The tree is native to Jamaica. The name shows that it is a combination of many spices. However, it is not true. It is a single spice coming from the Pimenta dioica tree.

The taste profile of allspice includes flavors of cloves, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Hence, if you want a specific spice and are looking for a substitute, allspice is your answer. It is used in many cuisines in the Caribbean, Middle East, and Latins.

Allspice is of two types: ground and whole. The whole form is best for addition in soups and soups, in brine, and prickling. It can be added to beef and lamb dishes. Ground allspice is great for desserts like cakes, pies, and gingerbread. If you are looking for a milder taste, use the ground one. The use of allspice is in major courses, as a side dish, in desserts and beverages.

Five Spice

Chinese 5 spice contains Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, cloves, star anise, and fennel seeds. You can add other items too like ginger, turmeric, and orange peel, etc. The idea behind it is to add all five flavors that are sour, sweet, salty, savory, and bitter.

When these are combined, you get a beautiful blend that will enhance any dish. Chinese 5 spice has only a ground form and has a brown color. These spices have great nutritional value because it is made from multiple types of spices. The use of this spice is versatile. However, it goes well with fatty food and with meat stuff. In Chinese cuisine, it is added in fish and poultry dishes. The blend is for vegans and celiac disease patients too.

The taste is distinct to allspice and has a licorice-like flavor. The sweet flavor comes from cinnamon and feel, pepper adds a peppery note, and cloves are responsible for a cold sensation.

Add the five-spice in a sauce, baste the steak, and use it in seasoned bean curd.

If you want an Asian touch to your dishes, five-spice is your answer. You do not need to add various spices. Add just a small amount and yield massive responses. Chinese medicine believes that these five spices will improve circulation and organ health increasing the appetite at the same time.

Five-spice will give a major heat kick to marinades and dry rubs. It can even lift flavorless vegetables and fruits.

Major Differences

We decided to compare the differences between the two. Here, the names tell a different story. The main difference is how these two spices are made. Allspice comes from the dried berries of its tree. Whereas 5 spice has a Chinese background containing 5 different spices.

Allspice is found in both whole and powder form, whereas 5 spice is made by making the powdered form of all the spices. Thus, 5 spice is available in powdered form only.

These two have different taste profiles but can be used as a substitute for each other whenever the need arises. The major reason is that five-spice uses different spices and each one adds to the flavorful taste.

Thus, our comparison of allspice and 5 spice shows that the major difference is that 5 spice is made from a combination of multiple spices and allspice comes from a tree. The taste profile is different, and each has its properties. Their usage is extensive in the culinary world. We hope we have removed any confusion you have about the two spices. Seasonings and spices are important for any dish. Thus, keep on mixing things up to find the right blend.

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