Nutmeg is a seed (kernel) of the fruit from the Myristica fragrans tree. This spice tree is a large evergreen plant that thrives well in tropical climates in Kerala. The nutmeg fruit upon ripening splits up to reveal single, centrally situated oval shaped hard kernel famous as "nutmeg spice." This seed closely enwrapped by crimson-red, lacy or thread like arils known as "mace." Both spices feature a similar warm, sweet aromatic flavor. Mace is gently peeled off from its nutmeg surface, flattened into strips, dried, and packed as a whole.
Both nutmeg, as well as "mace", is used in cooking recipes. Mace has a delicate flavor and gives saffron- like color to the food items. The whole kernel generally preferred over its powder since it possesses higher essential oils, which thus, give rich flavor and freshness to recipes. In general, completely dried kernels are either grated or milled just before being added at the last minutes of cooking.
Nutmeg and mace spice contain many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. By effectively stimulating the brain,nutmeg acts as an excellent brain tonic. In turn, it helps in eliminating fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression.This spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium.It is also rich in many vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin-C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin that are essential for optimum health.
How to Store -
store whole nuts as well as a ground powder inside an airtight container and place cold, dark and dry place, where it can stay for several months.