Mace essential hydrosol is a wonderful solution and a complete package for fighting various diseases and infections. The hydrosol is often used for culinary purposes, infact, it is a popular spice in India and is a part of many Indian delicacies.
The name is derived from a medieval word for ‘nut,’ meaning ‘suitable for an ointment.’ The tree is a small evergreen, not more than 40 feet in height, with smooth, greyish-brown bark, green on the younger branches.
The alternate leaves are oblong-ovate, acute, entire, smooth, and dark-green. The flowers are very small and unisexual. The fruits, smooth and yellow, resemble a pear grooved by a longitudinal furrow and contain a single erect seed about 1 1/4 inch long, the nucleus being the wrinkled ‘nutmeg,’ and the fleshy, irregular covering, scarlet when fresh and drying yellow and brittle, the ‘mace.’
Mace consists of the vein-like threads that cover the dried fruit, while nutmeg is the kernel inside the seed, rather like the kernel inside a peach pit. Mace threads, or blades, are chopped or ground and the nutmeg kernel is ground or grated. Both are traditional flavorings for sweets including custards, cakes, desserts, and savory dishes, especially fish, spinach, pasta and quiche.
Confusion created by two spices from a single fruit is apparently longstanding: spice lore tells the tale of an English merchant who visited a Ceylon nutmeg plantation and, after learning that mace was worth more than nutmeg, declared, “We must raise less nutmegs and more mace.”
Some spice historians speculate that mace may not have been considered a spice until long after nutmeg became popular, since it is not included in early European descriptions of spice use from 3rd and 4th centuries. However, cooking with nutmeg in India extends to ancient times.
Arab traders introduced nutmeg to the West some time in the 6th century. It eventually became as valuable as gold and was among the spices that prompted the European exploration of the world.
In the Middle Ages, Europeans who could afford spices especially used nutmeg to flavour -
- Spiced wine
An inferior Mace is obtained from the long nutmeg, dark and very brittle and lacking the fragrant odour and aromatic taste of the official variety.The medicinal properties resemble those of nutmeg, but it is principally used as a condiment.
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