Nutmeg is a spice that people add to their food to give it a different flavor.
Originally from the East Indies, nutmeg can be found in many kitchens worldwide today.
Nutmeg contains myristicin which has hallucinogenic properties when consumed in large amounts.
This post will cover what nutmeg is, what it tastes like, and how to use this spice.
What is Nutmeg?
At first glance, nutmeg seems like a spice that would be used in baking.
However, the truth is that this seasoning can be used to add flavor to savory dishes as well.
Nutmeg is found in many cuisines and has been popularized in Western cooking by using dishes such as eggnog and pumpkin pie.
Nutmeg is a spice that grows on trees in South East Asia, primarily Indonesia and Malaysia.
It’s made up of an outer shell with two seeds inside; these outer shells are ground into powder form for flavoring foods.
To create a nutmeg seasoning, the seed is dried in the sun over six to eight weeks.
During this time, it shrinks away from its hard seed coat (the mace).
When ready, it’s separated from the outer coverings and sold as whole or ground-up shells for purchase.
Did you know that nutmeg has a very strong, sweet, and spicy aroma? It is often used in baking to add an earthy flavor.
You can also make your nutmeg essential oil by grating the seeds onto some carrier oils like coconut or olive oil.
Make sure not to use it too much because it will give off a strong scent.
Health and Nutritional Benefits of Nutmeg?
In medieval times, nutmeg was regarded as an antidote for poison and considered an aphrodisiac.
It’s possible that these beliefs originated from the nutmeg’s reputation for inducing a pleasant dream-like state of mind, which could have been confused with an aphrodisiac effect.
Nutmeg is also used in small amounts as part of traditional Chinese medicine to ease gastrointestinal pain or indigestion.
But don’t go overboard; it can be toxic if taken orally in large doses and has hallucinogenic effects when inhaled.
Nutmeg contains many antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which help fight free radicals and improve skin complexion.
The spice is high in fiber content, too – 10 t the amount found in apples – which helps regulate bowel movements.
It may reduce muscle spasms in people with Parkinson’s disease, and it’s also being researched for potential benefits with Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutmeg also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (painkiller), and sedative properties that may help relieve chronic pain such as osteoarthritis or menstrual cramps.
What Does Nutmeg Taste Like?
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, nutmeg is a great spice that can add depth of flavor to any dish.
Nutmeg has a sweet, spicy, and slightly nutty taste.
It also contains eugenol, which can numb the tongue temporarily when eaten in large amounts.
When buying nutmeg at the store, get whole pieces for fresher ground versions and better flavor.
You can save money by purchasing whole seeds that are processed less to keep costs down.
Nutmeg can be overpowering to those with a sensitive palate, so start with a very small amount and add more to taste until you find the perfect flavor.
What Does Nutmeg Taste Good with?
For many, the taste of nutmeg is something that can’t be described in words.
It has a unique flavor and an even more unique aroma.
What does nutmeg taste good with? Well, it’s not so much what it tastes good with but rather how you use it to make your food one-of-a-kind.
Like many spices and food items, the best answer is “anything you like.” You can use it in a variety of dishes, from desserts to meats.
For those looking for some ideas on how they might enjoy this spice, here are a few recipes that show off its versatility:
Nutmeg Rice Pudding – A simple dish made by combining rice pudding ingredients into one pot.
This recipe calls for milk instead of water or cream, making it perfect for vegan or lactose intolerant individuals who want something delicious without any animal products.
Apple Pie Spice Cake – One classic dessert that uses both cinnamon and nutmeg, which creates a spicy apple flavor when mixed.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – A hearty soup made with vegetables, broth, and spices.
The nutmeg adds a depth of flavor that is hard to find in other soups.
Roasted Chicken Legs with Nutmeg Glaze – Salt and pepper may be the more traditional seasoning for this dish, but adding some ground-up nutmeg will create an enticing new taste sensation on your chicken legs or any other roasted meat you might want to use it on.
How Do You Use Nutmeg in Cooking
Nutmeg is one of the most popular spices on earth, and for a good reason – this little gem packs a punch with its pleasant, warm flavor.
There are two forms of nutmeg: whole nutmegs that are ground before use and pre-ground powder.
Whole nutmegs should be stored in a cool, dark place to preserve their flavor for as long as possible.
Nutmeg is often used in baking to make pumpkin pie taste like fall.
It also pairs well with chocolate; you can sprinkle some on top of your ice cream cone or try creating an easy hot cocoa recipe by adding it to milk with cinnamon and sugar.
When cooking meat dishes such as braised beef, pork roast, or chicken cacciatore (a tomato sauce dish), add one teaspoon per pound of the main ingredient for optimum flavor enhancement – don’t forget this spice the next time you prepare tasty sides like mashed potatoes too.
Where to Buy Nutmeg?
Here are some tips on how to find the best nutmeg:
Look at the color of the nutmeg before buying it: if it looks pale and yellowish, or if it has dark spots on the surface, then steer clear as this means that the nutmeg has been sitting in its container for too long and will not have much flavor.
Visit an ethnic grocery store.
Ethnic groceries are a good place to find high-quality nutmeg as they import it from Indonesia and Sri Lanka, where the best is grown.
Nutmeg powder is often sold at middle eastern grocers along with other spices such as cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods, but we also have seen them at larger health food stores on occasion.
Buy whole nutmegs rather than pre-ground ones: they will keep longer because there is less air exposure (and thus less oxidation) when stored whole.
You can grind your own once you get home with an electric grinder.
In conclusion, nutmeg is a fairly unique space that can be used to season various dishes and produces a powerful flavor.
Besides the smell and taste, nutmeg has many additional health benefits, such as antibacterial properties, which help digestion problems like gas or bloating.
Give it a try by adding just a pinch to your next meal or drink for yourself.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do here at our bakery.