….after all these years.
I have always been firmly convinced that “allspice” is a special american blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. I was very wrong about this, however. While speaking to a good friend about allspice yesterday (yes, I know, such exciting topics of conversation) I did a search for it on the internet and it turns out that it is a completely other kind of spice, see the wiki article here.
Why the obsession with allspice? Because of a very special recipe for spice cake that I have been making for almost 40 years calls for it, and I’ve never seen “allspice” in Germany (though I now know the german name for it, “piment”).
I’ve made many culinary forays into other cultures in the course of my life, especially the italian, french, mexican and indian ones. My very favorite cookbook, however, is a very special american one that my mother obtained while I was still a youngster. It’s the “Bentley Farm Cookbook” by Virgina Williams Bentley. It is by far my favorite, because Mrs. Bentley’s approach to all things kitchen, cooking and serving are sensible and the cookbook was written with much love. It’s a cookbook that you can actually sit down and just read – it’s informative as well as entertaining.
Here an excerpt from her introduction to the book:
I often tried to “borrow” this cookbook from Mom, but she kept her eyes on it always, the book being one of her favorites too. Imagine my delight some years ago when I managed to get a used copy from a large online retailer.
It contains recipes ranging from as simple as making lemonade to as exotic as curry of lamb. But my favorites are her oatmeal cookies, which are to die for, and the spice cake recipe which requires allspice.
I think there is a spice cake on my radar for this week.