Nutmeg: sweet, aromatic and nutty

Description
Nutmeg is an oval shaped seed that we can find inside the Nutmeg fruit. The fruit is much like a small Peach in size and its spotted yellow colored. It hides under a black crater which stays concealed in a bright red net like shell inside the fruit. You have to break the fruit in half and then break the shell to get the seed. These wrinkled seeds are small and its dark brown colored from outside. The seeds are mostly 20 to 30 mm long and 15 to 18 mm wide. The Nutmeg tree starts production after 9 to 10 years. People use the powder form of the seeds as spice. The dried form of the seed is available in the market as Nutmeg spice. They are pungent and sweet in taste. Despite of the name, Nutmeg is not a nut. Nutmeg contains about 10% essential oil, which is mostly composed of terpene hydro­carbons, terpene derivatives and phenyl­propanoids. An entire fruite produces very little Nutmeg spice so it needs a huge number of fruits to have right amount of Nutmeg spice.

It’s originated from the Spice Islands of Indonesia and now cultivated in West Indies, Malaysia and Kerala of India. Grenada of West Indies produces so much Nutmeg that it has been named Nutmeg Island.

In ancient times people believed that Nutmeg has magical power. Many monks of ancient times used to offer Nutmeg to young men seeking for strong sexuality. People used to carry it with them as a locket.

Buying Tips
It is recommended that you buy the nut and then grate the seeds to use as a spice. The oil that gives the flavor and taste to the spice, vanishes very soon so it is important that you use the spice freshly grated. Once grated, use it as sooner as possible. Always buy from authentic stores and look for the expiry date before you buy. The newer the packaging is, the better the aroma will be. Never buy open Nutmeg spices. The oil that creates the special aroma for the spice should remain to the full potential when you buy them. Concealed packets from West Indies and Indonesia can be found in authentic shops. That would be the best thing to buy.

Culinary Usage
Nutmeg is generally used to prepare sweet and spicy preparations. Many people use Nutmeg to make cheese sauce. Nutmeg mixes well with all kind of cheese. Nutmeg goes best with chicken and vegetable soups. Many famous cooks use Nutmeg to give soups a special flavor regularly. Many people use Nutmeg for vegetable dishes because it gives vegetables a special spicy taste and aroma. Vegetables like Broccoli, Beans, Onions, eggplants, Cabbage works extremely well with Nutmeg. Nutmeg is an essential spice for many egg dishes. Nutmeg is essential for fast foods like hotdog and sausages. The form of use is mostly grated. Flavor is the main thing that Nutmeg produces.

We can see the use of Nutmeg in almost every country. In India people use Nutmeg for sweet dishes and Mughlai dishes. Indians regularly use Nutmeg for Biriyani. The use of Nutmeg for spicy dishes is common in Middle East. Many Greek dishes contain Nutmeg which gives them the special spicy aroma. Indonesian and Malaysia people use Nutmeg mainly for sweet dishes and soups. European people use Nutmeg in many baked dishes and soups. They also use it in many meat preparations. Interestingly, in West Indies we can see the use of Nutmeg as a sprinkle on many drinks.

Nutmeg helps to create a special aroma but it doesn’t help much with the taste. The smell that comes from it increases the feel of the food for sure. Aroma is a important part for foods that’s exactly why people all over the world use Nutmeg.

The thing to remember is that Nutmeg should be used in small amount for any dish and should be added at the end of the cooking.

Storage
Nutmeg should always be used fresh. If you want to store it then make sure that you keep it in an air-tight container. Keep it in a cold, dark place for the oil to remain strong as much as possible. After use, keep remaining Nutmeg in a tightly wrapped condition. Keep in a glass jar for best results. Keep away from sunlight and heat. Never store with other spices and always store in a closed space. The aroma is the main part of Nutmeg spice and saving it should be the first priority.

Medicinal Value
Nutmeg can reduce gastric problems if used in small amount. It works for sore throats if used in proper amount. Few elements of Nutmeg can cure illness related to nervous system. Toothaches can be cured by Nutmeg and it can help to reduce bad breath. If mixed with honey in a small amount, Nutmeg can cure digestion problems. Nutmeg can really harm your health if taken in improper amount.

Where to buy in the US
You can easily find Nutmeg in grocery stores and also in supermarkets. There are many online stores where you can find Nutmeg. Search in your favorite online grocery store. 

Nutritional and dietary value
Nutmeg spice contains many chemicals that have components which have anti-oxidant. It contains many valuable oils. Nutmeg spice contains Copper, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and other minerals which benefit our health in many ways. Nutmeg contains vitamin B complex, vitamin A and vitamin C.

The seed that we found from Nutmeg is used to produce the Nutmeg spice. It gives many foods a special aroma and essential for many preparations. Important thing to remember is that Nutmeg can harm your body if used in high amount. It should always be used in small amount. Using it as a spread is the best idea.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 1 ts (7gms)
Calories from Fat 21
Calories 21
Total Fat 4%
Saturated Fat 9%
Potassium 1%
Total Carbohydrate 1%
Dietary Fiber 6%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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