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Mace, spice. All information on themace: its use in the kitchen, its properties, origins and where to buy it.
Mace, what is it
Themace, also calledmaceornutmeg flower, is a spice native to the Moluccas, Indonesia.
Don't be misled by the popular name"Nutmeg flower". Themaceit is not a flower.
Botanically themaceit is called "aril". The aril is an external part that encloses theseed and have a synchronous development.
In practice, the fruit of nutmeg is given by a white pulp, called "husk" that encloses the aril which, in turn, surrounds the seed. In the kitchen we mainly use the seed which represents the classic spice known asnutmeg. From the envelope of the seed, that is, from the aril, we obtain aspicesimilar flavor known asmace.
The mace is the red part shown in the photo below, in fact the fresh mace is bright red. In the image above, however, the drying mace is shown. The completely dried mace takes on a brown / orange color.
Themaceit is produced from plants of the genusMyristica, in particular from the Myristica fragrans species.
Themaceit has a milder flavor than its seed. The spice known asnutmegin fact, it tends to take on a more pronounced and overbearing flavor.
Mace, use in the kitchen
In the kitchen, themaceit is used as a spice for savory dishes, composed of light and bright colors, yellow or orange, in a similar way to what is used to do with saffron. In Indonesian cuisine, where it isautochthonousthe plant of origin, mace is used to flavor sweets and flans or even nougat, caramelized fruit and honey.
It can also be used to prepare spice mixtures or more by hand, to prepare spiced oil or vinegar, spiced salt and for the preservation of dried vegetables.
For the recipes and maceration times for mace, you can consult our guides dedicated to:
- homemade flavored oil, recipe also available for spiced vinegar.
- salt with aromatic herbs, recipe also available for spiced sugar.
Themaceit can be used like nutmeg, to enrich a purée or to spice up a jam.
Mace is a spice also used to flavor liqueurs, as is the case of nocino or liqueur with cherry stones. It adapts very well to the spices used to make mulled wine.
It can give a pleasant and delicate note to cheese spreads or to add to fresh grated cheese.
Fish can also be enriched withmace so are the creams for desserts or even infusions and teas. In short, it is a spice that goes well with sweet and savory dishes.
Themaceis counted among the spices of and the herbs ofdiaphoenic (or diaphoenix)an ancient natural remedy very popular in France because it was adopted by the "Pharmacopée de la Compagnie française des Indes orientales ". Along with mace, herbs such as ginger, saffron, cinnamon, black pepper and rue (ruta graveolens) were included.
Themaceis often referred to as onedrugor a powerful stimulant due to the hunger of thenutmeg. If you are looking forpsychotropic properties, you are probably interested in themyristicin contained mainly in the seed, therefore in nutmeg. For all properties and informationNutmeg, properties and benefits.
To return to properties of the spice mace, we point out that it provides potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus and a fair amount of vitamins (A, B vitamins and vitamins C. Contains beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin (a carotenoid) and fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. Contains essential oils emyristicinand for this it must be consumed in moderation.
Among the contraindications, it should be avoided during pregnancy.
Mace, where to buy it
Where to buy this spice? Unfortunately in Italy it is not very widespread and, in order not to go around in circles between the food department of various hypermarkets, it is better to aim for online sales.
On Amazon a 100 g pack ofmace powderis offered at the price of 8.60 euros. For all information on themace powder I refer you to this page.
Once the vacuum package has been opened, I recommend that you transfer the spice into a container or an airtight bag and keep it in contact with the air as little as possible.