Derived from nutmeg, mace is the dried outer covering of the seed. It has a beautiful yellowish-red tinge and is very aromatic. The flavor is similar to that of nutmeg but more peppery. It is available both in grounded and whole form. Whole dried mace is preferred over the grounded form for the preserved flavour.
Mace has a warming undertone with sweeter profiles. It is a versatile ingredient used in various cooking preparations. For this reason, it is often used to flavor doughnuts and savory foods. It is the added as the main flavoring ingredient while preparing white sauce, lasagna, sausages, stews, jams and pastries. It gives the dominant flavour for doughnuts.
In Indian cuisine, it is added both in sweet and savory dishes. Garam masala, an Indian spice mix contains nominal amounts of mace.
Curry powder in Japanese cuisine includes mace as an essential ingredient.
Note: Since it has a delicate flavour that is lost quickly, mace needs to be stored carefully in air-tight containers to retain its aroma.
This spice is used in treating diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain and intestinal gas. It is also used in treating insomnia, menstrual irregularities and as a general tonic. Pain caused by rheumatism can also be soothed.
Did you know?
Until the eighteenth century, the only source of mace was Indonesia.