This is what fresh nutmeg looks like when it has been removed from inside the larger pod. The fiery looking red sheath (technically called an ‘aril’) is mace, a spice in its own right. Mace tastes a lot like nutmeg, but stronger.
So pretty and fragrant. Isn’t it cool how the mace leaves an imprint of its growth on the nutmeg shell?
I took this photo of a giant bowl of nutmeg and mace at a party for someone who was visiting from the Caribbean (Here’s the part where I slip in a public apology for staying too late, acting the fool, and running at the mouth with possibly inappropriate stories). Guests were instructed to take a few pieces of the fresh spice home. I always buy my nutmeg whole and have purchased dried mace blades, but have never tried any so potent. The nutmeg still needs to be cracked from its shell before use!
What will I make first?