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Nutmeg and Mace

Myristica fragrans
Myristica fragrans
Did you know that… ?
  1. …nutmeg is the seed of the tropical evergreen tree Myristica fragnans, from which comes another spice - mace - which is actually the reddish-yellow pulp around the seed?
  2. …this spice comes from the Maluku Islands, also known as the Spice Islands?
  3. …fruit from the nutmeg tree is picked by hand, or knocked loose with a bamboo pole?
  4. Myristica fragnans can grow to be 100 years old and up to 15 meters high?
  5. …the nutmeg tree starts to produce fruit in its eighth year?
  6. …mace, sometimes called mace flower, has nothing to do with the nutmeg tree's blossoms; it is actually the fruit pulp?
  7. …this spice is added to food only towards the end of cooking, because heat destroys  its aroma?
  8. …in the Middle Ages, nutmeg was stored in special silver cases, together with its grater?
  9. …this spice was credited with being effective against the plague, and was often used as a strong aphrodisiac?
  10. …as spices, consist of dried whole or ground seeds and fruit pulp from the Myristica fragnans tree?
  11. …larger quantities of nutmeg have narcotic effects and can be poisonous, even deadly?


500 g cooked and sliced tripes
200 g smoked cooked meat
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 onion
1 tablespoon parsley
¼ teaspoon mace
¼ teaspoon ginger
3 mushrooms, salt

Sauté chopped onion in butter, add flour and make a light roué. Thin with bouillon and add chopped tripes, smoked meat, spices and finely chopped mushrooms. Add parsley at the end of cooking. Serve with potatoes.


Nutmeg has been found in the graves of Egyptian mummies. In the 10th century, Arabs knew the spice and in the 12th century, even Europeans revered it as an extremely precious spice. Its history is similar to the history of cloves and is full of bloodletting, fabulous wealth, impoverishment of native workers and suffering of sailors on sailing ships full of nutmeg as a cargo. In the 17th century, nutmeg was among the most expensive of spices. To curb the black market trade, ships carrying nutmeg, upon reaching their destination port, required every sailor to strip naked and have his clothing searched before being allowed to leave the ship. At that time, three nutmegs were sufficient wealth to allow their owner to purchase a small tract of land near London.