Portuguese Allspice, Sean Telo’s allspice blend

Portuguese Allspice, Sean Telo's allspice blend

Looking for that all important spice? You know the one, it can be used in almost every dish you layout on the table. Well look no further as today we bring you a special spice from Chef Sean Telo, the Portuguese Allspice. It was his grandmothers classic, which he has perfected over the years.

Chef Sean Telo of Brooklyn’s Extra Fancy grew up cooking alongside his grandmother in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a Portuguese hub in New England. In her kitchen, the Portuguese allspice blend of cinnamon, allspice, anise, orange zest and pepper went regularly into classic rice dishes. When Telo went pro, he took the blend to new heights.

Chef Sean Telo’s spice mix hits all the right notes, blending together with an earthy balance capable of bumping up the flavour in any dish. Fold it into rice, sneak it into baked goods or dust it onto deviled eggs.


  • 5 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon zest (½ lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (⅓ orange)

In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices and dried herbs. Zest the lemon and orange over the spice mix and stir to combine. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Rather than being super spicy, his version plays up the warmth of the cinnamon and paprika, making it more apt for dishes that lean toward the sweet. Use it “anywhere you would think to use a sweet paprika blend,” he says.

Check out: tastingtable.com