Nutmegs have a characteristic bittersweet and earthy flavor. They go well with sweet pastries, soups, stews, starchy vegetables, cabbage and cheese dishes. Nutmegs are slightly more tart than the otherwise flavorful mace.
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Nutmegs and mace are a product of the nutmeg tree native to Indonesia. They were imported to Europe as early as the 6th century and from there made their way to what is now the second largest producer, the Caribbean island of Grenada.
The nut is surrounded by a shell, which in turn is covered by a kind of net, the mace. Both spices taste characteristically spicy and have a distinctive aroma. Mace is somewhat milder than the nut and floral in aroma.
Nutmegs are popular in the kitchen for seasoning meat dishes, floury vegetables, cabbage and egg dishes. In the Oriental region, stews and slow-cooked braises in particular are enhanced with nutmeg. In Italy, a pinch of nutmeg is added to pasta sauces and stuffings, while in Central Europe it is used to season cauliflower, white cabbage and soups. Indispensable as a topping for the Caribbean rum cocktail Planters Punch!
The whole nuts can only be used in conjunction with a grater. The grated nut or ground powder can be added at the beginning or towards the end of the preparation of the dish.
Fruit bread, Planters Punch, lamb tajine, mashed potatoes.
Characteristic spicy aroma, earthy, bittersweet flavor.
Pepper, cloves, ginger, fennel, coriander, cumin, cinnamon.