Nutmeg & Mace
The Nutmeg tree is a large evergreen tree , which produces two spices — mace and nutmeg. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit and mace is the lacy covering (aril) on the kernel.Nutmeg has more robust flavor than mace, but they are otherwise very similar. They have nutty, warm and slightly sweet flavor In its natural state, mace is a bright crimson lace up to 35 mm (1-1/2 in) long, encasing the brown nutmeg in irregular, fleshy lobes. As it is dried, it develops its charcteristic aroma but loses its bright red colour . They are part of Indian Garam Masala.
Nutmeg & Mace– Names in different Indian Languages.
Hindi– Jayphal and Javitri , Bengal – Jaiphol and jabitri , Gujrati – Jayfal and Jaypatri , Punjabi – Jayphal and Javitri, Tamil –Jathikai, Urdu – Jayphal and Javitri
They Contain Essential oils and fatty acid.
Mace and nutmeg are very similar, though mace is somewhat more powerful. Mace is a lighter colour and can be used in light-coloured dishes where the darker flecks of nutmeg would be undesirable. A small amount will enchance many recipes, adding fragrance without imposing too much flavour. Mace works especially well with milk dishes like custards and cream sauces. It contributes to flavouring light-coloured cakes and pastries, especially donuts. It can enhance clear and creamed soups and casseroles, chicken pies and sauces. Adding some to mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes creates a more interesting side dish. Some beverages improve with a little mace, especially chocolate drinks and tropical punches.
Nutmeg is usually associated with sweet, spicy dishes — pies, puddings, custards, cookies and spice cakes. It combines well with many cheeses, and is included in soufflés and cheese sauces. In soups it works with tomatoes, slit pea, chicken or black beans. It is part of Indian Garam Masala and It complements Egg and Lamd dishes and vegetables like cabbage, Caulifower and jackfruit.
The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food., for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups.
Dried mace pieces are not easy to crush. Ready-ground mace is easier to use, but will deteriorate much more quickly. Whole mace pieces can be steeped in liquid and then the liquid can be used, or the mace pieces can be removed after cooking Whole nuts are preferable to ground nutmeg, as flavour deteriorates quickly. Whole nuts will keep indefinitely and can be grated as required with a nutmeg grater. Store both ground and whole nutmeg away from sunlight in airtight containers
Nutmeg is poisonous and should be used in moderation, a pinch or two is safe. One whole nutmeg grated equals 2 to 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg. Similarly One ‘blade’ of Mace is strong enough to flavour a meal of four to six portions.