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5 Sweet Latin Spices You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

Allspice or Pimienta de Jamaica

Allspice earns its name from the pronounced touches of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg contained in these dried, round berries. Jamaica has become the spice’s main producer, which accounts for the Spanish translation. For the freshest results, buy them whole then toast and grind them as needed. Simmered with anise seeds and cane sugar, they make a wonderful melado de papelón, the simple syrup that goes into Venezuelan arepitas dulces.

Anise Seeds orAnís

Ground or crushed, these aromatic seeds with strong hints of licorice are a favorite in festive egg-rich breads like November’s pan de muerto and January’s rosca de reyes, not to mention New Mexican bizcochitos. Steeping in liquids brings out the flavor and versions of Spain’s anise liqueur are popular throughout Latin America and used in baking.

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