Nutmeg & Mace
Also: The scientific name for nutmeg is: "Myristica fragrans"
The mace is also called mace or mace.
The nutmeg tree, from which both nutmeg and mace are obtained, belongs to the nutmeg family.
The tree grows best at 20-30 ° C. It should be in the shade for the first two to three years, but it does not begin to bear fruit until it is eight years old. However, he does not have the highest yield until he is 15 years old.
The tree can grow up to 20 m high. Its trunk and branches are smooth, the bark is greenish-gray to olive-colored. The leaves are elliptical in shape, their upper side is dark green, the underside a little lighter.
The tree blooms with pale yellow flowers from March to July. There are male and female flowers that bloom on different trees. Mostly, however, the female trees are planted, since only they then bear the apricot-like fruits, and thus also the nutmeg.
The fruit becomes 8-10 cm long and has a diameter of approx. 5 cm. It grows berry-like, is fleshy and apricot-like on the outside, but pops up when the nutmeg is ripe. It has a round seed, which is surrounded by the aril, the fleshy, reddish seed coat. The core is oily. From the nutmeg tree, both the seed, which is the nutmeg, and the seed coat, which is offered in dried form as the nutmeg, are used.
The fruit of the nutmeg tree is picked when it is ripe. The seed coat is peeled off and dried. The seed itself is also dried and then cracked open or smashed. Only then do you get the nutmeg used in the kitchen. So it is part of the seed of a berry.
The nutmeg is dried as a whole nut and optionally provided with a layer of lime to prevent insect infestation and germination. It is recommended to always rub them fresh into the food. But it is also already rubbed in the trade.
The mace is offered dried and pressed flat, broken or ground.
There is also nutmeg oil to buy.
Nutmeg butter, which is obtained by pressing the fatty oil from the nutmeg, is also available in stores.
The essential oil, which is distilled from crushed nutmegs, is also offered.
Nutmeg contains essential oils, approx. 40% fatty oil (main component: myristic acid), terpenes and tannins. Other ingredients in nutmeg are phenylpropanoids such as myristicin and alcohol. They have a hallucinogenic effect, as their conversion products have structures similar to those of amphetamines.
The mace also contains essential oil, 22-35% fatty oil and amylodextrin.
Taste and smell:
The taste of nutmeg is aromatic-resinous, spicy, warm, slightly burning, slightly bitter and very intense. The smell is also strong, spicy and aromatic.
The smell and taste of the mace can be described in the same way as that of the nutmeg, but the mace is somewhat milder and finer.
Cooking and kitchen use with typical dishes:
Nutmeg and mace are both popular kitchen spices. Nutmeg in particular should be freshly rubbed into the food, because this is how it has the best aroma. However, it should only be added at the end of the cooking time. However, the nutmeg should be added at the beginning. You should always use it sparingly, otherwise the nutmeg taste can easily become too dominant in the food.
Nutmeg is used for:
Soups: Cauliflower cream soup, potato soup / stew, cabbage soup (Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi), semolina soup, oatmeal soup, leek soup, mushroom soup
Meat: Production of sausages, eg white sausage, mortadella, minced meat dishes eg meatballs, roast pork, light meat dishes from veal and lamb, fricassee from chicken and turkey
Sauces: all light sauces
Side dishes: all potato dishes, dumplings
Vegetable side dish: carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leek, salsify, spinach, kohlrabi, vegetable juices
Dessert: fruit desserts, e.g. pear and plum compote, porridges, flammeri, pancakes
Pastries: gingerbread, yeast pastries, apple tart, spice cakes, with cinnamon and clove it was a seasoning ingredient in Hildegard von Bingen's "energy biscuits"
Miscellaneous: Cheese, part of the gingerbread spice mixture, preserving spice, part of the curry spice, in chewing gum, flavoring mulled wine, punch, liqueurs, lemonades
Nutmeg oil is widely used in the food industry. It is easier to dose and more durable. It is used as a flavoring agent for baked goods, syrup, drinks and sweets and is part of the “nutmeg flavoring” that is available in stores.
It is also used to flavor herbal and fruit liqueurs and to make spice essences.
Use within dietetics:
The nutmeg has an appetizing effect and is slightly antibacterial.
It can be used with all types of diet.