History of Nutmeg
Nutmeg originally came from the “Spice Islands” of Indonesia and the West Indies. Historically, the whole nutmeg was used as a sachet, which is a small perfume bag to scent clothes. The Romans used it as incense. Nutmeg’s many uses started in the 1600s where nutmeg was used as an expensive commercial spice in the Western world. Nutmeg trees can grow to about 65 feet. They can grow fruit after eight years of sowing and can produce fruit for 60 years. The word nutmeg comes from the Latin words nux meaning nut and muscat meaning musky. Nutmeg was discovered in the 1st Century A.D.
What is Nutmeg?
Nutmeg is a seed that comes from the nutmeg trees. To make it into a seasoning, the seeds are dried in the sun. While it is drying, the nutmeg loses its hard seed coat. The spice is ready when the kernels rattle in their shells. While it is being shaken, it separates from the outer coat, which is the mace. It can be sold whole or ground up as nutmegs many uses. Nutmeg has a mild taste and is rarely used with mace in a recipe. It tastes nutty and sweet and has a strong distinct smell. Whole nutmeg is about the size of an apricot and lasts longer than ground nutmeg.
Nutmeg Used in Recipes
Nutmeg can be sweet or savory in recipes. It is known as a holiday spice. When using nutmeg in recipes, make sure to use it lightly as this spice can be very powerful. Nutmeg is very special and can be used in a variety of different spices including pumpkin pie spice, ras el hanout, and garam masala. It is well known for being used in drinks like cappuccinos and eggnogs. Nutmeg is a good flavorful spice for pumpkin pie and alfredo dishes. Popular substitute nutmeg spices are cinnamon, allspice, ginger, or ground cloves.
Where to Find It
Nutmeg comes in two different forms: ground or whole. Ground nutmeg is easy to find in local grocery stores. Although it’s convenient, it can easily lose its flavor and aroma fast. Whole nutmeg can be found in supermarkets, wholesale clubs, gourmet shops, and online. Other places that sell the whole nutmeg are specialty spice purveyors. It will most likely be found in the spice aisle, but if it’s not, it can always be ordered from our Spice Station website.
Nutmeg is historically from the “Spice Islands” in Indonesia. It was used by Romans, Dutch, English, and American people. It was used as a spice, sachet, and incense. The word nutmeg comes from Latin roots. Nutmeg is a seed that grows from tall nutmeg trees. The seeds dry in the sun for weeks until it can be used for our common recipes like pumpkin pie or eggnog. It can be a sweet or savory holiday spice and can be found almost anywhere.