Nutmeg and mace are different parts of the same fruit of the nutmeg tree. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit and mace is the lacy covering (aril) on the kernel. The nutmeg kernel is oval, about 25 millimetres in length, lightly wrinkled, dark brown on the outside and lighter brown in the inside. The tree is native to the Banda Islands in Indonesia and has been used in China, Asia and India for around 2000 years.
Nutmeg has a sweet, nutty, resinous and warming fragrance and flavour that complements sweet and savoury foods. It is most often associated with sweet dishes such as rice pudding as the spice enhances natural sweetness in food but is also a key spice in béchamel sauce for lasagne and tastes fantastic with pumpkin or cheese dishes. Use a fine grater to grate the spice before use.
Gregg's Nutmeg is available in both whole and ground format.