Nutmeg and Mace are both of the same tree. This evergreen tree, belonging to the myristicaceae family, grows up to 60 feet tall and takes about seven years to bear fruits. Nutmeg is the kernel of the apricot-like yellowish fruit of the nutmeg tree. A hard brown black shell normally covers this kernel. Both spices are strongly aromatic and resinous. Mace is generally said to have a finer aroma than nutmeg. Nutmeg quickly loses its fragrance when in ground and is therefore normally grated from whole nut just before usage.
Nutmeg contains about 10% essential oil, mostly comprising of terpene hydrocarbons and derivatives and phenylpropanoids. This is responsible for the hallucinogenic effect of large nutmeg doses. Oil of Mace (approx.12%) contains the same aroma components but in different proportions.
Both Nutmeg and Mace are found in rare locations, worldwide. Main producing countries today are Indonesia (East Indian Nutmeg), Grenada (West Indian Nutmeg), P.New Guinea (Papua Nutmeg) and India/Srilanka (Malabarica Nutmeg).
In Arab countries, Nutmeg and Mace Appear in delicately flavored meat dishes. In North – a spice mixture called ‘garam masala’ may also contain Nutmeg or Mace. Similarly, these products are found in compositions like ‘galat dagga’(Tunisia), ‘ras el hanout’(morocco) and ‘bharat’(Saudi Arabia).
In western cuisine, Nutmeg and Mace are more popular for cakes, crackers and stewed fruits. Nutmeg is sometimes used to flavor cheese (fondue,bechamel sauce). In France, Nutmeg is used in combination with finely found blackpepper, cloves and ginger to flavor meat dishes braised for a long time e.g. stews and ragouts.
Nutmeg / Mace oil extract is used as a counter irritant and stimulates blood flow to the area applied. Nutmeg is reported to be an expectorant, aphrodisiac, and as a nervine used by psychiatrists. It is used in tonics and electuaries and is recommended for the treatment of inflammations of the bladder and urinary tract. Mace is used in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism. It also has an anti-inflammatory anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.Send us an Enquiry