Allspice is the dried fruit of the P. dioica plant. The fruits are picked when green and unripe and are traditionally dried in the sun. When dry, they are brown and resemble large, brown, smooth peppercorn. The whole fruits have a longer shelf life than the powdered product, and produce a more aromatic product when freshly ground before use.
Fresh leaves are used where available. They are similar in texture to bay leaves, thus are infused during cooking and then removed before serving. Unlike bay leaves, they lose much flavor when dried and stored, so do not figure in commerce. The leaves and wood are often used for smoking meats where allspice is a local crop. Allspice can also be found in essantail oil form.