Nutmeg is the seed of the fruit which grows on the tree Myristica fragans, the same fruit from which mace is derived. The oval-shaped seeds have a sweet, spicy flavor. When ripe, the fruit splits in half, exposing the netlike membrane or aril, known as the mace. The mace closely enwraps a dark brown, brittle shell inside of which is the single, glossy brown, oily seed, the nutmeg.
Commonly used in sweet foods and enhancing savory foods, nutmeg blends well with other spices. It is found in the cuisines of Italy, the Caribbean, France, India, Germany, Scandinavia, Greece, Latin America and the Middle East.
Nutmeg originating from the East Indies has a relatively high volatile oil content and a distinctively rich flavor and aroma. As opposed to the highly aromatic East Indian nutmeg, the lighter colored West Indian type has a milder flavor and higher fatty oil content.
Connecticut is known as "The Nutmeg State" owing to the tradition that slick Yankee peddlers would sell whittled wooden "nutmegs" to unsuspecting housewives.
Flavor & Aroma
Strongly aromatic, citrus, piney
Piney, citrus-like aromatics combine with sweet and bitter tastes to provide nutmeg with its distinctive flavor.