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Nutmeg (Myristica Fragans) is the inner kernel of the fruit from an Evergreen Tree native to Moluccas, or the Spice Islands. The fruit is oval shaped and about an inch long with a tan brown color. The fruit is split open to reveal the seed, Nutmeg, which is wrapped in a bright red lacy covering called Mace. Both the Nutmeg and Mace have their own distinct flavors. Nutmeg is about 3/4 to 1 inch long and oval shaped with a flavor resembling that of Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Cloves. Nutmeg and Mace have a long history in Asian cooking. Nutmeg is a wonderful spice and Ground Nutmeg is much easier to use when cooking than its whole counterpart.
Nutmeg should be added toward the end of the cooking process because its flavor diminishes when heated. Nutmeg is great in puddings, eggnog, spiced wine, muffins, apple pie and other sweet dishes. Nutmeg is also wonderful in savory dishes such as pasta, onion sauces, steamed spinach, and braised vegetables.
Nutmeg is best when grated just prior to use. To grate, use a nutmeg grater or spice grater. Nutmeg should be added toward the end of the cooking process because its flavor diminishes when heated.
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