Myristica fragans

The nutmeg tree can become up to 100 years old and grow between 10 and 16 metres high. It has narrow, dark green leaves about 10 centimetres long. Its fruits are golden yellow dotted with red, similar in appearance to apricots. When ripe, the fruits split open and expose a brittle seed 2 to 3 centimetres in length which is the nutmeg. In addition to the nutmeg, the tree also provides the pungent mace, a netlike membrane or aril covering the seed. Both the seeds and the dried mace are used as spices.

Countries of origin

Moluccas, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Brazil, Mauritius
The nutmeg tree is originally native to the Moluccas and New Guinea. However, nutmegs have also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, which proves that this spice reached the Mediterranean from the Spice Islands long before the time of Christ. Nutmeg and mace have been popular all over Europe since the end of the 12th century. The French and the Dutch even waged war over the highly prized fruit and tree. Today, the nutmeg tree is primarily cultivated in Indonesia and the West Indies. Premium grades come from the region around Grenada.

Flavour and aroma

Nutmeg has an incomparably intense and pungent aroma. The brown nuts provide a spicy sweet and strongly aromatic flavour. Mace also has a pungent and bittersweet taste, but is somewhat milder. Nutmag: White soups and sauces, fish, meat, potato, cheese, rice and pasta dishes. Mace: Fish and meat dishes, Christmas cakes and cookies, desserts, compote, vegetables, liqueurs, sausage, meat broth The flavour of nutmeg and mace is a perfect match for cauliflower, kohlrabi, spinach, mashed potatoes and piquant baked goods, pasta, white sauces and meatballs. Hot-chocolate, mulled wine, punch and milk drinks taste fuller with a dash of nutmeg. Sweet apple dishes, pear and plum compotes and especially Christmas cakes and cookies take on a unique aroma when seasoned with nutmeg. Nutmeg can have a narcotic effect if consumed in large quantities.

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