Nutmeg and Mace
Nutmeg is a seed of a fruit from the Myristica fragrance tree which is found on the island of
Indonesia and the Philippines. Nutmeg looks like a plum with the bright yellow fruit. A whole
nutmeg looks like a wooden egg around which grows a striking covering or aril called
mace. When fresh the mace is deep red, when dried it becomes deep gold. Nutmeg in
India is used in milk-based desserts and also in savory dishes of vegetables. Spinach,
butternut squash, and sweet potatoes which pair well with nutmeg. The flavor of these
vegetables is enhanced by the use of nutmeg. It loses its fragrance when in powdered
form. The best way to use nutmeg is to grind it with a grater for a quick burst of flavor.
Mace is the aril or fibrous membrane covering the nutmeg. Mace has a subtle flavor
and used in savory meat sauces and milk desserts. Mace can also be found in the form
of blades or in ground form. Both nutmeg and mace can be stored in the pantry for 6
months to a year.