Nutmeg is one of those spices that give a touch of special flavor to our dishes. Its particular aroma and sweet and soft taste make it the perfect spice for both savory and sweet preparations.
This spice originates from the Moluccas in Indonesia, is very popular in Oriental cuisine, where it’s used from China to Africa in the preparation of many dishes.
The nutmeg is a seed from the tree known as Mirística, from where is also obtained the mace, which has a similar taste to that of nutmeg, but has a more orange color, so it’s used in much more colorful preparations.
This spice has been present in gastronomy for centuries, and its particular flavor, in addition to its large list of properties, made it a luxury spice in Middle Age Europe.
Nowadays, some nutmeg seeds will not save our lives economically, but surely they will turn our dishes into something totally exquisite and different.
Nutmeg is that spice that gives the special touch to a béchamel sauce, or brings to another level a good curry. Besides it’s perfect to season vegetables, fish, meat, chicken, and even a great variety of desserts with a hint of nutmeg can get to taste so much better.
However, despite its versatility, we must know that its consumption in large quantities can be toxic, because it contains miristicine, a chemical agent associated with hallucinations. But there is no need to worry, because nutmeg in small doses is harmless to the body.
The same way, nutmeg as well as resulting in a delicious touch of flavor, can be very beneficial to health. This exotic spice has been attributed aphrodisiac properties, antibacterial, calming, digestive and even circulatory.
If you want to dare to incorporate a little of this exotic flavor in your dishes is important to take into account certain considerations:
- Add the nutmeg towards the end of the preparation. If you expose it to heat for a long time, you run the risk that its taste will become very strong and unpleasant.
- It’s better fresh. Although in the stores, you can buy the ground nutmeg, it’s advisable to acquire the seed of the walnut. So, when you use it, you can grate the amount you need.
Its versatility is one of the most wonderful things of this spice, because besides that you can use it in purees, creams, stews, toddys and desserts, you can combine it with other aromatic spices such as clove and pepper.
Now you know, a pinch of nutmeg can be your great ally for an explosion of flavor.