The nutmegs Myristica are a genus of evergreen trees indigenous to tropical southeast Asia and Australasia. They are important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace. Mace within nutmeg fruit Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20-30 mm long and 15-18 mm wide, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or arillus of the seed. Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavor. Mace is often preferred in light-colored dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like color it imparts. It is nice in cheese sauces and is best grated fresh. In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used almost exclusively in sweets. In European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces and baked goods. Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider and mulled wine. Nutmeg powder is used as an ingredient, in small quantities, in the Indian spice mixture garam masala, which is a mixture of dry spices.It is also used as a flavoring agent in Indian sweets.
A possible future use for nutmeg is as a natural control for insects that infest stored cereal grains. At one time, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices.
Nutmeg Vitalizes Veggies
Not only can nutmeg be used in beverages and desserts, but it is a great compliment to vegetables. Try it on your favorites to give them a new sensation. Sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, squash, pumpkin, and carrots are all great candidates to try with nutmeg. Also, combine a pat of butter or a dollop of olive or coconut oil with the nutmeg to really make the flavors pop.
Nutmeg Flourishes Fruit
Fruits look and taste delicious. A sprinkling of nutmeg can enhance the visual and flavor appeal. Try some nutmeg on the likes of pineapple, mango, pears, nectarines, peaches, bananas and apples. Get creative and experimental. You won't be disappointed.
Nutmeg Bolsters Breakfast
Who says nutmeg can only come out of the cabinet during the holidays to garnish eggnog? Nutmeg is a wonderful accompaniment to numerous breakfast foods. Dust some over your omelet, quiche or scrambled eggs. Introduce nutmeg to some yummy pancakes, French toast or a muffin. Do so when still warm and the nutmeg will seep into the food and meld with the flavors. Also, don't miss out on trying nutmeg in oatmeal, quinoa or cereal. The combination may be a great new way to begin your day.