Nutmeg and Mace

The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evrgreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit: nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices. Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essensial oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter. Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts.

Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater. In penang Cuisine, dried, shredded nutmeg rind with sugar coating is used as toppings on the uniquely Penang ais kacang. Nutmeg rind is also blended (creating a fresh, green, tangy taste and white colour juice) or boiled (resulting in a much sweeter and brown juice) to make iced nutmeg juice.In indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savoury dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It is also added in small quantities as a medicine for infants. It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is also smoked in India.In Indonesian cuisine, nutmeg is used in various dishes, mainly in many soups, such as soto soup,baso soup, or sup Kambing. It is also made as sweets.In Middle Eastern cuisine, ground nutmeg is often used as a spice for savoury dishes.In originally 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. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog. Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.In the Caribbean, nutmeg is often used in drinks such as the Bushwacker, Painkiller, and Barbados rum punch. Typically, it is just a sprinkle on the top of the drink.The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada and also in Indonesia to make jam, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, and crystallised to make a fragrant candy.In Scotland, mace and nutmeg are usually both essential ingredients in haggis.

7 Health Benefits Nutmeg Provides

1.Brain Tonic: During ancient times, Roman and Greek civilizations used nutmeg as a type of brain tonic. This is because nutmeg can effectively stimulate your brain. As a result, it can help eliminate fatigue and stress. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, nutmeg may also be a good remedy. Nutmeg can also improve your concentration so you can become more efficient and focused at work or at school.

2.Pain Relief: Nutmeg is also an effective sedative. In fact, nutmeg is a staple in ancient Chinese medicine. The Chinese used the spice to treat inflammation and abdominal pain. Use nutmeg if you are suffering from aching joints, muscle pain, arthritis, sores and other ailments. To relieve the pain, apply nutmeg oil to the affected areas.

3. Indigestion Relief: If you suffer from digestion-related problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence and so on, nutmeg can effectively offer you relief. Nutmeg oil relieves stomachaches by removing the excess gas from your intestines. Nutmeg can also boost your appetite.

4. bad breath Treatment: Because of its antibacterial properties, nutmeg can also effectively treat halitosis or bad breath. As you probably know, bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Nutmeg can rid your mouth of these bacteria. This is the reason why nutmeg is a common ingredient in many brands of toothpastes. Nutmeg can also be used to treat gum problems and toothaches.

5. Liver and Kidney Detox: Detoxification is an important factor of good health. Diet, pollution, stress, tobacco, medication and other external substances can lead to the build-up of toxins in your organs. The liver and kidney are two of the organs where this toxic build-up usually develops. As a tonic, nutmeg can clean your liver and kidney and remove these toxins. If you are suffering from a liver disease then nutmeg can also be beneficial. Nutmeg is also effective in preventing and dissolving kidney stones. When your liver and kidney are successfully detoxified, they can perform their function better.

6. Skin Care: If skin care is one of your priorities then you might want to incorporate nutmeg into your regimen. Nutmeg can actually help you achieve smoother and healthier skin by helping you treat several skin problems. A scrub made from nutmeg powder and orange lentil powder can help you remove blackheads, a type of acne characterized by pores clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. If you suffer from acne marks, nutmeg can also help make your scars less noticeable. What you need to do is mix some nutmeg powder with some honey to make a paste, which you will then apply to the acne marks.

7. Sleep Aid: If you have difficulty sleeping at night, drink a cup of milk with some nutmeg powder. This will help you achieve relaxation and will induce sleep.

Mace

Mace is a spice made from the waxy red covering that surrounds nutmeg seeds. The flavor is similar to that of nutmeg, with a hint of pepper and a more subtle note which can be overwhelmed by heavy-handed cooks. It is readily available in many cooking supply stores in both whole and ground form, and it has a wide range of uses from desserts to savory roast meats. The versatile flavor can make mace a useful spice to have around, especially since many recipes call for it. As mace dries, it turns more orange in color; high quality spice retains this orange color, although some varieties are also creamy or brown. Whole dried mace is known as a blade; blades are preferable to ground mace since cooks can grind what they need as they need it, preserving the flavor.

Mace and ground mace should be stored in a cool dry place, and they should not be exposed to moisture. Because the flavor is very delicate, blades and ground mace should be carefully stored and used quickly to maximize the flavor. Many recipes which recommend mace also call for the spice to be added at the end of the cooking process, if possible. This practice is actually very common with a wide range of spices, since cooking changes the flavor profile and tends to make spices bitter. Obviously, in things like baked goods and roast meats, the mace is added at the beginning, along with all the other ingredients. Mace can be used much like nutmeg would in things like cakes, scones, and spice cookies. It can also be used in curries, soups, cream sauces, roasts, and a range of other ingredients. Some traditional Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian spice blends also call specifically for mace. To refresh spice that has gone stale from long storage, lightly toast it before use.

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