Nutmeg spice comes from the nutmeg tree, Myristica fragrans, which was originally native only to the Banda Islands in Indonesia. Nutmeg trees are a tropical evergreen tree that grow some 7-10 metres high (23-33ft), and have shiny green leaves that are dark on the upper side and pale-green beneath. Nutmeg trees are male or female and one male tree is needed per 10 female trees, so that the female trees can be fertilised and then bear fruit. Unwanted male trees are thinned out from the nutmeg plantation. Nutmeg trees become fully mature after 15 years and are fruitful for 40 years. When the fruit has developed, it looks like a yellow nectarine. When the fruit is ripe, the fruit is picked and the flesh cut off the shell, making sure the shiny, blood-red mace aril on the outside is not removed or damaged. After the mace has been peeled from the nutmeg shell, the nutmeg nutcase is dried further; once it is dry, the nutmeg seed rattles within the smooth outer shell. We are sometimes offered these nutmeg nuts (i.e. nutmeg seed and outer shell) by spice traders or sometimes the nutmeg seed is called broken nutmeg, i.e. the shell has been broken and removed. The nut is the spice we all know as nutmeg; it is a dull brown, wrinkled and hard. Nutmeg on its own has a mild warm flavour, but the best is to grind the nutmeg as you need it, which releases its volatile oils from the oil-containing veins within the nut (you can see these developing as you grind them through a symmetrical light and dark-brown pattern through the seed lengthways). Nutmeg’s aroma is warm, aromatic and gently pleasing, while its flavour is also warming but has some sweetness.
Nutmeg has a warm full-bodied flavour that complements a wide diversity of doods from baked goods to milk puddings, or green vegetables like spinach, or it goes well with fish or hot chocolate. However, nutmeg has a strong flavour that should be used sparingly.
- Flavours: Sweet
- Cuisines: Asian, British, European, Indian, Middle Eastern
- Ingredient features: Organic, Salt free, Sugar free, Vegan
- Values per 100g:
- Energy 450kCal; 1891kJ
- Fat 17.3g
- Carbohydrates 69.7g
- Protein 3.9g
- Values per 2.5g teaspoon:
- Energy 11kCal; 47kJ
- Fat 0.4g
- Carbohydrates 1.7g
- Protein 0.1g
We stock a vast and comprehensive selection of Steenbergs wonderful Organic herbs and spices, for all you culinary needs.
This Organic Fairtrade Nutmeg is a ‘must have’ Christmas baking essential along with Organic Cinnamon Powder, Organic Cinnamon Quills, Organic Fairtrade Ginger Powder and Organic Cloves.