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.
Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter.
The most important species commercially is the Common or Fragrant Nutmeg Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia; it is also grown in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. Other species include Papuan Nutmeg M. argentea from New Guinea, and Bombay Nutmeg M. malabarica from India; both are used as adulterants of M. fragrans products.
Usage:Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavor. Mace is often preferred in light-coloured dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like colour 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 flavouring agent in Indian sweets. Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products with a world market share of 75% and 20% respectively. Other producers include India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Caribbean islands such as St. Vincent. The principal import markets are the European Community, the United States, Japan and India. 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. Product usage are not tested and approved by USFDA. Products are suggestions by natural health practioner, please consult your doctor.
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