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Nutmeg

Nutmeg

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Nutmeg:

Nutmeg comes from a very unique tree that actually produces two spices – nutmeg and mace. The scientific name of Nutmeg is Myristica fragrans. The aromatic Nutmeg tree is an evergreen that grows upwards of 66 feet and features fragrant flowers and brownish-yellow edible fruit that are approximately the size of a small peach. Nutmeg is the dried seed of this fruit and the nutmeg seed is surrounded by a bright red, lacy covering called mace (this is also known as mace blades or the aril).

During the Middle Ages, nouveau riche Europeans carried their own whole nutmegs and graters to dinner gatherings as a status symbol sign.

How It's Used:

In the Middle East, nutmeg is used in lamb and mutton recipes, tomato sauces and vegetable stews. Europeans use it in mashed potatoes, rice dishes, pastas, soups, rice puddings, pies, biscuits and processed meats. The French use it in meats that are cooked for a long time, especially in stews and ragouts. Nutmeg is a key spice in Caribbean cuisine in everything from jerk seasonings to pastries, ice cream, fruit punches, eggnogs, breads and cakes.

In this country, Ground Nutmeg is a classic baking spice and adds intense and spicy aroma to pastries, cakes, sweet rolls, banana bread, pumpkin pies, apple pies, ice cream, chocolate, lemon desserts  cookies, coconut milk, fruit pies, muffins and sweet breads. Use as a topping for custard, eggnog and whipped cream.

In addition to its uses in sweet dishes, nutmeg also works well in savory dishes and is considered by many chefs to be a secret ingredient in eggs, stew, creamy soups (especially split pea and tomato soups), sauces, seafood chowders, lamb, meatballs, milk dishes and with sweet potatoes.

Flavor Profile:

Nutmeg has a piney, camphorlike aroma and the flavor is spicy, sweet and slightly bitter with hints of clove.

Nutmeg and Mace possess closely related sensory qualities, with nutmeg being slightly sweeter and mace having a lighter, more delicate flavor. Ground Mace is best used in light dishes due to the bright orange hue it provides.


Goes Well With:

Nutmeg compliments cabbage, carrots, cheese dishes, chicken, eggs, onions, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and veal.

Nutmeg partners well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace, pepper, rosebuds and thyme.


Tips & Tricks:

Nutmeg is used grated, crushed or ground. Like many higher oil content spices, freshly ground nutmeg is much more flavorful than pre-ground nutmeg. In small amounts, Nutmeg blends in effortlessly. Nutmeg should be added toward the end of the cooking process.

2 to 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg is equal to one whole nutmeg.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
Calories16
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0.5mg
Total Carbohydrate 1.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Total Sugars 0.1g
Added Sugars 0g
Sugar Alcohol 0.0g
Protein0.5g
Vitamin D 0mcg 
Calcium 6mg
Iron 0mg
Potassium 11mg