Nutmeg – A Fragrant Spice Nutmeg is a seed of ever-green Myristica fragrans tree belonging to the Myristica family. There are other two types of nutmeg; one is Papuan nutmeg (M. argentea) and the additional Bombay nutmeg (M. malabarica) from different genres but does not have strong qualities as Myristica fragrans.
So these are not such a hit in the nutmeg market as Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is used for its aroma, sweet taste, its essential oils and nutmeg butter which is used as an anti-inflammatory ointment.
How Are Nutmeg And Mace Related? Scientific Name - Myristica fragrans
Nutmeg tree yields not only nutmeg but also a mild spice mace (Javitri in Hindi) which has the same fragrance and sweet aroma as nutmeg but in subtle amount. Nutmeg is the seed of nutmeg fruit, and mace is a net-like cover of that seed which is present between seed and epicarp of fruit.
When the nutmeg fruit is torn, this mace is separated from nutmeg seed and kept for drying. Drying changes its color from crimson red to pale-saffron; which later used in meat, sweet, baked, seafood, and veggies culinary.
The Taste And Fragrance Of This Spherical Nut
Nutmeg has a sweet spice and has its fragrance which smells like ether. Mace which is a covering of nutmeg has milder taste influence than nutmeg. When nutmeg is added to the dishes, it gives a faint orange or saffron color.
What Are The Culinary Uses Of Nutmeg And Mace?
Nutmeg is used in many cuisines all over the world. Some of its uses are listed below:
# Indonesian Cuisine: Nutmeg is used in some spicy soups which re Indonesian delicacies.
# European Cuisine: In European countries, nutmeg is used in meat recipes for its fragrance and taste. Also used in potato-based dishes that are consumed with meat. Nutmeg is also used to flavor rice puddings.
# Indian Cuisine: In India, crushed nutmeg is used in sweet dishes for its sweet flavor and ether-like aroma and also for its coloring property. Nutmeg and sometimes Mace is included in the Garam Masala group to give a spicy touch to meat or veg curries.
# Dutch Cuisine: Nutmeg is used in many Dutch dishes like broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower and string beans. Nutmeg is used in mulled wines, mulled cider and eggnog.
# Italian Cuisine: Nutmeg is used in stuffing in dumplings of meat dishes also used in traditional meatloaf. Nutmeg is one of the essential sprinkling ingredients for pumpkin pies and winter squashes.
# Baking Cuisine: Nutmeg is used in making many baked delicacies like sweet pies, cakes, soft toast, Bread Loaf, and pastries.
Nutrition Obtained By A Fragrant Sphere (Nutmeg)
Nutmeg contains very fragranced oil similar to the aroma of nutmeg which is used in the perfume industry and also in the pharmaceutical industry. The high consumption of nutmeg may cause poisoning. Nutmeg is having a good amount of minerals like sodium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Nutmeg also provides vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A.
Lucky To Have Nutmeg Discovered Because Of Its Health Benefits
# Sound Brain Health: Consumption of nutmeg maintains good health of brain tissues. Brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are found to be reduced with the intake of nutmeg.
# Good For Blood Pressure: Nutmeg is a good relaxing agent which has its effect on relaxing blood vessels. It reduces the blood pressure and thus reduces the strain on the circulation system.
# Fights Insomnia: Nutmeg, when consumed with a glass of milk, can reduce the problem of Insomnia.
# Pain Killer: Nutmeg has the anti-inflammable quality which is a medicine for any reducing pain of any infection A paste of nutmeg with milk when applied to any blemishes can reduce pain.
# Skin Friendly: Nutmeg, when applied as a paste mixed with water, can reduce dark spots and rashes on the skin making the skin glow and refreshing.
# An Element In Tooth Paste: Nutmeg has its oil which is good for teeth health. Some herbal toothpaste use nutmeg oil for better results.
# Detoxifying Agent: Nutmeg contains anti-oxidants which detoxify the body by destroying free radicals from the body.
How Did Nutmeg Enter Into Human Diet?
There very disturbing and long past of nutmeg as it was found to be a very useful spice for flavoring and medicine. It is said that the first nutmeg tree was found on the islands of Maluku east to Indonesia (but later it was found a nutmeg tree was present in Shri Lanka too) and Arab traders were the first traders who brought nutmeg to the whole of the world.
Nutmeg was in demand during the 16th century in Europe, and its demand and prices went up because of the invention that nutmeg can cure plague during the Elizabethan era.
As the prices and demand rose the traders from all the world gets attracted to the nutmeg. Arabs traders were trying not to disclose the source land of nutmeg production, but the islands got discovered by European explorers, and then the trade war started.
Dutch traders conquered the nutmeg trade then British traders were also started to intrude the islands. Assuming this a threat to the monopoly of trade Dutch massacred local Maluku people to restrict and fluster against selling nutmegs to British traders.
But during Napoleonic wars Dutch control over the island got weak, and Britten got successful for a small period. During this period Dutch transplanted the nutmeg in their colonial countries of the same environment. Later Dutch resumed the control of the Maluku islands till world war II.
Cultivation And Global Production Of Nutmeg
Nutmeg tree grows well in sandy loam soil, clay loam soil or stone free red soil. The soil must be having good drainage. The environment requirements of the nutmeg tree are warm and humid conditions with a rainfall of 150 cm or more annually. Nutmeg trees can also grow at altitudes up to 1000 meters above sea level.
Countries like Guatemala in the North American continent and South Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Bhutan produce nutmeg commercially.
In recent years Guatemala is noted to be the highest nutmeg producing country in the world.