Latin Name: Myristica fragrans Houtt
Common names: Mace,
Mace is the aril (outside) covering of the fruit of the nutmeg. The fruit of
the luxuriant evergreen nutmeg are about the size of a peach
(see above) and equally as delicious. Within the fruit is the "seed" which
we call nutmeg that is used in our recipes. However, a thin,
waxy coating is over the seed and this is the mace. In the picture above, you can
see the fruit (tan), mace (crimson) and barely see the seed within the mace. At left
is a close-up of mace on the seed and mace removed from the seed. Finally, the
ground mace used in recipes is at right.
Nutmeg trees are native to the East Indies but are now primarily grown in the West
Indies. Over half of the world's supply is grown on the island of Granada
encompassing some 27,000 acres. Needless to say, growing your own Nutmeg tree would
be difficult (but not impossible).
Mace is removed from the outer shell of the nutmeg seed and put in the sun to dry.
During drying, mace changes its' color from crimson to the mustard-yellow.
Mace is lighter and more mild than nutmeg and is used in cakes, pies, preserves and
cookies. Mixed with other spices, Mace can be found in poultry seasoning, pie spices
and meat spice blends.
Comments from Your Host,
Mace is not one of the first spices you think of in your cabinet; but a fine
spice it is.
Recipes using Mace:
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would appreciate this?