Nutmeg (Myristica Fragrans)

Spicy, fresh, aromatic and sweet.

Source

Nutmeg trees are native to the Molucca Islands. Nowadays they are grown in many tropical countries. Nutmeg essence is mainly produced in Indonesia and to a lesser extent in Sri Lanka and in the West Indies (Grenada).

Extraction Method

Nutmeg essence is obtained through steam distillation of the nuts. Only the female evergreen tree, which can reach a height of 50 feet, bears the yellow orange fruit. Once ripe it falls and releases a hard egg-shaped seed (nutmeg) wrapped in an envelope that looks like a fleshy and irregular mesh (red orange) called mace. Mace is also sold as a spice: its sharp and bitter odor evokes nutmeg. Only broken, worm-bitten and unmarketable nuts are distilled.

Use

Nutmeg essence is mostly used to alter spicy notes. It is sometimes added to eaux de Colognes and eaux de toilettes for men. Used as a flavor enhancer in mashed potatoes, soups, baked or cooked dishes, candies, chewing gum, beverages and breakfast cereal.

History

Used as an air freshener in the streets of Rome during the coronation of Emperor Henri VI in 1190. In the Middle-Ages it was known for its digestive and stimulant properties. The Portuguese and the Dutch used to have a monopoly on the nutmeg trade. Medicinal properties It stimulates digestion. Carrying a nutmeg on one's person is believed to help soothe rheumatism. It enhances common sense and intuition, stimulates organic and intellectual functions. It is said to make women fertile. At high doses, nutmeg is a hallucinogen and can cause fatal food poisoning.

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