£1.30 – £21.90
Whole Organic Nutmeg
Product of: Grenada
Nett Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
Organic Whole Nutmeg:
Nutmegs are the seed of the fruit from Myristica fragrans, a tropical evergreen tree, which also produces mace. Nutmeg’s volatile oils dissipate quickly when exposed to air, so ground nutmeg loses flavour over time. These dense, oily pits will keep for years in your cupboard, releasing an amazingly complex aroma and flavour every time you grate them.
The fruit of the nutmeg tree produces two edible spices – the nutmeg nut and the outer covering, mace. A whole nutmeg can be stored for years and when grated fresh ensures the strongest flavour (sweet and warm), while pre-ground is more convenient.
Nutmeg is used in sweet baking, especially pumpkin pie and spice cakes, as well as being a common ingredient in Northern European sausage and stew recipes. In the South, a pinch of nutmeg is crucial to macaroni and cheese and stewed greens. We have a family Christmas Eve tradition of making eggnog the old-fashioned way, topped off by the grating of nutmeg in Grandma’s antique nutmeg grater. Everyone loves it, from the kids to the older folks!
Until just a few centuries ago, all the nutmeg in the world grew only on a few tiny islands in Indonesia. European colonial powers fought bitterly over control of these islands, as nutmeg was highly valued for its flavour, preservative qualities, and alleged ability to cure the plague. The Dutch held a monopoly on nutmeg production for many years, but when it was broken nutmeg trees were spread to the West Indies and other areas. These large whole nutmegs are grown on the Caribbean island of Grenada, which is famous for especially high-quality nutmegs.
The sweet, earthy, piney flavour of nutmeg is called for in both sweet and savoury dishes in cuisines worldwide. Nutmeg is traditionally used in baking, but also adds flavour to cheese sauces, pasta fillings, spinach, and fish.
Nutmeg freshly grated from a whole nutmeg seed is far more powerful than powdered, commercial nutmeg. If the recipe you’re preparing does not specify using grated nutmeg, use only three-quarters teaspoon of the grated spice for every 1 teaspoon called for in the recipe. Nutmeg is a staple in baked goods like spice cake, but Henneman recommends trying it in a fruit salad or as a topping for steamed vegetables such as cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spinach, asparagus or cabbage.
“How long do spices last?”
Depends on both the type of spice and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored spices, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried spices (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. Pre-ground spices do still always work very well but if possible buy the spice whole and grind it just before you use it. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your spices:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.