Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Nutmeg originated in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. In around the 6th century they were most likely taken to Europe by the crusaders. Until the 18th century the spice was mainly used for medicinal purposes.
The flavour is very aromatic with a deep woody flavour and hints of clove.
Nutmeg has a beautiful warming aroma that is rich, slightly sweet and fresh. All parts of the nutmeg tree are aromatic.
Nutmeg in commonly used in baking. It pairs well is cheese, chicken, egg, lamb and milk dishes.
The natural habitat for nutmeg is the wet tropics. The trees thrive in heavy annual rainfall, high humidity and medium high heat. While the roots are extensive, they are not very stable. In Grenada in 1955, 90% of the trees were destroyed by hurricane.
In the 17th century the Dutch took over the area where production of nutmeg was high. They wanted to monopolize the business so organised the destruction of all other nutmeg plants other than the areas of Banda and Amboina. In 1735 the Dutch burnt 570000kg of nutmeg to limit supplies and keep prices high.
Nutmeg has long been used to aid in any digestive problems. It is believed that essential oil of nutmeg can help relieve muscular and joint pain. Nutmeg can stimulate your brain and as such can reduce fatigue and stress.
Facts About Cinnamon
Nutmeg and mace are one of the only spices where two different spices come from the same plant. The mace is an orange web like wrapping around the nutmeg.
Does nutmeg contain nuts?
Nutmeg is actually a seed not a nut. It is generally fine to consume for those that have a nut allergy, though always consult a health care professional. People who show an allergy to nutmeg will generally have an allergy to seeds rather than nuts.
Does nutmeg go bad?
Nutmeg does not specifically go bad but it can lose its flavour in time. It should be stored in an air tight container for longevity.