If spices were party guests, allspice usually arrives with a raucous crowd—cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger—but its own, subtler voice is seldom heard. Only when you get it alone do you realize what terrific company it is for many other flavors. When cinnamon is around, it usually dominates. Cloves always tell the same story. But allspice intriguingly blends, fuses and enlivens other more subtle flavors, bringing out the best in everyone else without calling too much attention to itself. A few years back, making my Thanksgiving apple pie, I decided to wipe my apple-pie-spice-slate clean and create a new, restrained, but apple-flattering blend. I critically smelled each of the usual suspects and only added pinches of the strong cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, but the allspice smelled so appealing, I allowed it to lead the pack. It was a delicious pie; its apple flavor sang clear, the spices perfectly balanced. Ever since, I’ve paid closer attention to allspice.