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Can Nutmeg Fruit Be Eaten? [Vs Mace, Fruit, Nut]

Can Nutmeg Fruit Be Eaten

I’ve been learning about different spices and I started looking into nutmeg. I was curious about whether nutmeg fruit can be eaten.

I did some research and here’s what I found.

Nutmeg fruit can be eaten, however, it doesn’t have a pleasant taste when eaten raw.

The nutmeg fruit is typically juiced and sugar is added to improve the taste.

Or, it is dried and used as a spice.

The seed is used to make nutmeg spice but the fruit itself has a bitter, acidic, pine taste with a slightly nutty flavor.

Other questions I had t were whether nutmeg is a fruit or a nut, what the difference is between nutmeg and mace, and whether nutmeg has any medicinal qualities.

In this article, I will explain the answers to all of these questions and more.

Is Nutmeg a Fruit or Nut?

Is Nutmeg a Fruit or Nut

If something is a nut then the word nut is typically at the end for example a pistachio nut.

However, nutmeg has a nut at the beginning of its name. So, I was curious, is it a fruit or a nut?

Nutmeg is a fruit.

What is used to make the nutmeg spice is the seed of the nutmeg fruit?

The seed is in the center of the nutmeg fruit.

As the fruit ripens the fruit becomes quite rigid and then cracks open exposing the seed pod.

The seed is about the size of a quarter but is completely round and slightly oval in shape.

It is also dark brown in color.

The best flavor comes from fresh nutmeg.

The nutmeg seed itself can be stored for a long time in a mason jar in the fridge.

To get fresh nutmeg simply take a nutmeg seed out, and slice off a part of it and grind it up in a pestle and mortar.

Or simply grind the nutmeg into fine pieces by using a grater.

Nutmeg is versatile and can be added to virtually any dish.

Particular favorites are dishes like pumpkin pie, pot pie, and even oven-roasted vegetables.

Especially together with rosemary and whole cloves of garlic.

The nutmeg fruit itself can also be used as a spice, however, it adds a slightly different flavor.

Each kind of fruit and herb tree absorbs different nutrients, therefore, it can be beneficial for your health to eat a wide range of spices including nutmeg, and nutmeg fruit.

Not to mention the flavor benefits.

What Is the Difference Between Nutmeg and Mace?

What Is the Difference Between Nutmeg and Mace

A common herb that is associated with nutmeg is mace.

But, how closely related are they and how are they produced?

Mace is found on top of the pod that houses a nutmeg seed.

Mace is an unusual rubbery plastic material that is also used as a spice much like nutmeg.

Mace tastes virtually identical to nutmeg, however, it doesn’t have as strong a flavor.

Therefore, it is better suited to some dishes.

The flavor of nutmeg is delicious, however, it can be quite overpowering in some dishes.

And therefore, you may opt to use a more subtle nutmeg flavor and mace is ideal for that.

Mace can be used in the same way that nutmeg is used

Mace is sold in ground form, however, its flavor isn’t as good.

It’s typically rare to find mace outside of regions in which it is grown.

Which are typically tropical regions that don’t experience a winter.

However, if you come across fresh mace you can also finely dice it and use it as a spice or garnish.

For example, you can add 5 to 10 strips on top of a salad.

Or, add strips to the outside of a roasted chicken where the flavor will soak in.

Does Nutmeg Have Any Medicinal Properties?

Does Nutmeg Have Any Medicinal Properties

Nutmeg has an interesting history where it was very expensive because it was in limited supply.

However, it was also popular because of its purported health benefits.

So, what are the medicinal properties of nutmeg?

Nutmeg is known to be a good anti-inflammatory which relieves pain, it is good at cleansing the body because it’s high in antioxidants.

It is also a natural antibacterial – eliminating negative bacteria in the digestive system and is thought to increase libido.

Therefore, nutmeg all around is a winner.

And if you don’t already include it in your diet then you should give it a go.

I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the taste.

Another way to consume nutmeg is as a tea.

But, it’s generally accepted that the most delicious nutmeg is that ground right before using it.

Whole nutmeg is typically readily available at the local grocery store.

It can be kept in the cupboard or the fridge.

Then as you need it you can take one out and grate it to produce a fine powder.

Nutmeg ban

Nutmeg is known have hallucinogenic properties when consumed in higher dosages

And has been compared to the heavily regulated LSD hallucinogenic drug.

In certain jurisdictions such as countries in the Middle East nutmeg is banned, as it is treated similar to other hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD, or magic mushrooms.

Quite a large dose of nutmeg needs to be consumed to get any of those hallucinogenic effects, therefore, it’s very unlikely to produce any effects when used as a spice PLUS attempting to consume in high dosages is dangerous – DONT DO THAT PLEASE.

Can I Use Expired Nutmeg?

Can I Use Expired Nutmeg

You may have some nutmeg that has been sitting at the back of the pantry, and it’s since past its use-by date.

However, expired nutmeg is safe to eat.

As a general rule, it is safest to throw it out.

It is definitely possible to consume expired nutmeg, however, you should taste a small amount of it first to check that it tastes and smells ok.

Typically, it has no taste after it has expired.

Some people are of the opinion that the oils evaporate and that the flavors go with them.

Certain people also think that it can give you a stomach ache.

Therefore, a taste test should indicate if it has retained its flavor and you can technically consume it.

But, it’s generally not recommended.

What is the edible part of nutmeg?

What is the edible part of nutmeg

A nutmeg tree can grow incredibly large with a height of 60 ft (2 meters).

Therefore, it can also produce a tonne of fruit. But, are all parts of the nutmeg edible?

The entire nutmeg fruit is edible.

That includes the seed, the outer part of the seed, and the fruit itself.

The seed is what is sold as nutmeg in stores, and the outer part of the seed is called mace.

Mace has the same flavor as nutmeg, but its flavor is a bit weaker.

The flesh is not nice to eat on its own.

However, it can be juiced and mixed with sweet-tasting flavors such as banana, honey, sugar cane juice, or raw sugar.

But, you can thinly slice the nutmeg and use it as a garnish.

What is mace from nutmeg used for?

What is mace from nutmeg used for

Mace is one of those spices that you don’t hear much about so I wanted to know what mace is used for.

Here’s what I found…

Mace is used as a spice for food and beverages.

It can also be brewed into tea.

It is readily available in a ground powder form at the grocery store.

Mace is an unusual rubbery texture and is found covering the seed pod that houses the nutmeg itself.

It’s also typically an unusually bright red or yellow color.

Once it has been collected from the nutmeg fruit it can be kept in the fridge.

Where it can be sliced thinly and used as a herb or spice much like turmeric, or cardamom seeds.

Can I use mace instead of nutmeg?

Can I use mace instead of nutmeg

I often follow recipes from cookbooks I have lying around or that I look for on the internet.

And I thought that mace and nutmeg kind of tasted the same.

But, can you use mace instead of nutmeg?

Generally, mace can be used instead of nutmeg.

Mace has the exact same flavor as nutmeg except it is much weaker.

Therefore, you may decide to use more mace to make up for the difference in flavor.

But, if you try the same recipe with mace you may find it’s more delicious.

And at the end of the day, it depends on your palette.

Can you grow nutmeg at home?

Can you grow nutmeg at home

Since nutmeg is so versatile, I was curious about growing my own nutmeg tree and how easy it is to grow one.

A nutmeg tree grows best at a temperature range of 77°F to 95°F (25°C to 35°C).

Therefore, states that have a cold winter like New York aren’t suitable.

They also need around 60 inches of rainfall a year (1.5 m). They take 8 years to begin fruiting.

The time it takes for nutmeg to produce fruit is on the high end.

But, it can be worth the wait since one tree would produce more than enough nutmeg for a few households.

It also keeps really well.

It’s estimated that a mature nutmeg tree will produce 2,000 or more fruit a year.

That’s 4 nutmeg fruits a day.