What is that Smell on my Pork Chops?

clovesOn Sunday, in a Jumbo-induced shopping haze (similar to an Ikea-induced shopping haze), Tom purchased the pepper (pimienta) pictured here. (Pepper is not a commonly-used spice in Argentina. We generally buy it in containers, such as this, that have their own little grinder on the top.)

Yesterday, we made pork chops with home made apple sauce for dinner (yummy). Naturally, we salted and peppered the chops before throwing them in the pan for some searing. When everything was cooked to perfection, I sat down and almost immediately brought the chop to my mouth for a big chomp. I stopped in mid-bite though because I caught the whiff of a strange odor that I don’t normally associate with pork. I moved my nose nearer to the slab of cerdo, attempting to place the strange bouquet… . “Cloves?” I said to Tom. His chop rapidly greeted his nostrils and after an assessing sniff, he agreed with me.

Digging into a bit o’ research, we have discovered that “Pimienta de Jamaica” is not pepper, but rather allspice, cleverly disguised as “Pimienta Negra” in a pepper grinding jar waiting to trap a hapless male shopper at the Jumbo. I have never seen allspice in its whole berry form and have since learned that it is in the same family as cloves (Myrtaceae), but possesses a more mild flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg overtones as well.

Who knew? (I’ve been saying that a lot lately!)

6 Responses to “What is that Smell on my Pork Chops?”

  1. Juan Pablo

    I agree there isn’t a great variety in spices, but you can get pepper everywhere. Here’s a link to just one brand of spices:

  2. Mamacita

    So did you eat the pork chops? And, if so, were they any good?

  3. Michele

    *laugh* We DID eat the pork chops and they were good…once we got over expecting to taste some pepper! I don’t know if I would grind a ton of allspice on them next time though!

  4. Michele

    Juan! I didn’t mean to imply that Tom couldn’t find pepper anywhere so he had to go the Jumbo for it. Rather, he happened to be shopping at the Jumbo and we needed pepper, so he thought he purchased it, but, in fact, he didn’t. Instead, he got the allspice. (He actually thought he was buying some sort of fancy, spicy pepper from Jamaica — haha) Anyway, normally, we just purchase pepper at the local Coto or Disco when we are doing our usual shopping.

  5. Juan Pablo

    Ah! I thought I was missing something. Anyway, now I know a new way to eat pork.

  6. Michele

    *laugh* My new motto is that allspice makes everything “new” to eat. (In reality, now that we have a lifetime supply of allspice, I’m desperately trying to figure out what meals I can prepare that need a lot of it!)

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