All About Nutmeg & Mace
Plant Family: Myristicaceae
Origin: Native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia.
– Nutmeg is the seed, and Mace is the aril that covers it.
– Nutmeg grows inside a Drupe that splits open and reveals the Aril around the seed. The Aril is removed (mace) and them the seed is split open to reveal the actual nutmeg.
– Nutmeg is not a nut and does not pose a risk to people with nut allergies.
– Around the early 1600’s nutmeg became an expensive in demand spice in Europe and was the root of conflict that pitted the Portuguese and the Dutch (who controlled trade ) against the English and French who wanted to obtain fertile seeds for transplantation.
– Because of this the nutmeg trees and seeds were closely guarded and those sold whole were dipped in lime to prevent them from being planted elsewhere.
– Nutmeg and Mace are used everywhere in Savoury and sweet dishes. It’s sprinkled on veggies, put in haggis and pumpkin pie.
– Whole nuts are preferable to ground nutmeg, as flavour deteriorates quickly. Whole nuts will keep indefinitely and can be grated as required.
– Mace works especially well with milk dishes like custards and cream sauces.
– It enhances and accentuates other spices.
– Mashed potato and other root vegetables can be given an incredible lift with nutmeg.
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