The peeled seeds of the nutmeg tree are called nutmeg or nutmeg. Like the seed coat (mace), they are very aromatic. New in our range is this organically grown nutmeg from India.
The nutmeg tree is an evergreen tree that originates in the Moluccas and is called pala there. But what is nutmeg actually?
We know it as 'nut', but it is actually a kernel, the inner part of the seed, stripped of the hard shell. Elsewhere you can buy the nutmeg with shell and all, in our country nutmeg is almost only available without shell. Not only this part, but also the seed coat and the pulp are edible. The fleece is considered a separate spice, and we call it mace.
The nutmeg, to use that word again, is oval-elliptoid - in shape and about an inch and a half long. The outside is ribbed, a pattern that you also see on the inside. Our nutmeg is a selection consisting of nuts that weigh between 5 and 5.5 grams each.
The word nutmeg is a corruption of the Latin "nuces moschatae". that means 'musky-smelling notes'. These are the main essential oils, those with an arterisk * are the main flavor and aroma determinants of this warm, fragrant spice:
- α- and β-pinene, woody pine scent, as in cumin, pine (pine cone), juniper and hemp,
- elemicin *, hallucigonene, pungent substance in nutmeg,
- limonene, the scent of lemon peel,
- methyl eugenol *, a floral aroma (mimosa),
- myristicin *, warm spicy, like balsamic vinegar, in cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, assam pepper and parsley
- sabinene, responsible for the woody, camphorous flavor of black pepper, among others, with citrus and pine cone notes, and
- safrole *, the smell of a sweet shop, o. a present in cinnamon and nutmeg.
Is this nutmeg organic?
In order to be able to supply this organically grown nutmeg under the designation organic, we will have to be certified as a packer/producer of the spice. That's just how it is. We are not. Although we process and store organic products and products from regular cultivation strictly separately, we are not allowed to carry the designation organic.
Smell and taste
Nutmeg has a smell and aroma, which is often referred to with other herbs and spices because it is so characteristic of nutmeg. The fragrance palette can be perfectly combined with products that contain the same essential building blocks, including cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger root, dill, sage, thyme and parsley, vegetables such as cabbage, carrot (cavalo nero, cauliflower), pumpkin and spinach, potatoes and onions , lamb, chicken, sharp-tasting cheeses such as Gruyère (think cheese fondu) but also cream cheese or ricotta salata, and fruits such as pear and banana. And of course in béchamel sauce.
To grind nutmeg you still have tools, a grater, a plane or a mortar. Not every nutmeg mill is equally handy, and many people therefore fall back on the old grater. We sell the Crushgrind nutmeg mill from the Billund series, where you can grate any hard spice, not just nutmeg.
Nutmeg is heavily underestimated in Western European cuisine. The cookbooks stammer about green beans and cauliflower, but it usually stops there. It goes without saying that nutmeg is indispensable in Indonesian cuisine, and also in Indian cuisine.
The history in a nutshell
In the Middle Ages, the trade in nutmeg was in the hands of Arabs, who supplied Europe with what was then called the nut muscate, a popular but expensive spice and medicine at the time. In the seventh century, the demand for this medicine was huge. It was used against the plague, a pandemic that killed 75 million (!) people worldwide.
The Arabs jealously kept the location a secret, and saw the price skyrocket.
The Arab monopoly was broken when Vasco discovered the Gama of the archipelago where nutmeg grew. The Banda Islands in the Pacific Ocean. In the seventeenth century, these islands came into the hands of the Dutch East India Company, which did not shy away from any means to guarantee the monopoly. In 1621, Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen proceeded to the violent 'extirpation' of the Banda Islands, under the pretext that the population continued to sell nutmeg to the Portuguese and the British against the VOC's ban.
Coen ordered his troops to massacre the population. All nutmeg trees were also cut down, except those on the island of Banda neira. There he reorganized production by dividing the largely depopulated island into plots and renting them out to so-called. perkeniers. These were only allowed to deliver to the Company. The beds, as the plots were called, were maintained by perk serfs, slaves from all parts of Asia.
In the early nineteenth century, the British succeeded in breaking through the monopoly of the Dutch state. The VOC had been nationalized shortly before, in 1796. The British presence was short-lived, as the Dutch quickly regained control of Banda. In that short span of time, the British secured the planting material and introduced cultivation in Grenada, Pendang, Ceylon, India and Zanzibar.
Zanzibar was not the first island off the East African coast where nutmeg was grown. As early as the seventeenth century, the French botanist Jean Poivre succeeded in obtaining fertile seed under the VOC monopoly and planting it on the Île de France, as Mauritius was then called.
Africa has various native alternatives to nutmeg, such as the West African ehuru or pèbè or calabash nutmeg (Monodora myristica). The taste resembles that of the 'real' nutmeg, but the nut is more peppery, and is therefore also referred to as 'pepper'. Unfortunately, the domestic market for this unique 'nutmeg' is shrinking due to the rise of the 'real nutmeg'. In Madagascar, for example, several mock nutmegs grow naturally, such as the Rarabee, the Bashi-bashi and the Rhanha-horac.
The Banda Islands have always remained an important production area, but most nutmeg today comes from India, especially from Tamil Nandu. However, most nutmeg entering the Netherlands comes from Indonesia (86%). In our country, only 1% of all imported nutmeg comes from India.
Our nutmeg, for example. He comes from Ernakulam, a district whose capital is Kochi, formerly Cochin. Ernakulam is located in Kerala, the region where our Malabar and Tellicherry peppers also come from. Our nutmeg farmers, united in a corporation, grow nutmeg organically.
- 100% dried kernels of the Myristica fragrans
- not powdered !
- origin: India, Ernakulam (Kochi/Cochin)
- available in glass and pouch (no test tubes)
- glass jar contains approximately 45 grams
- standup pouch with 45, 75, 250 or 500 grams (8, 14 and 45-50 nuts respectively)
- larger quantities on request
- the jar is available in a tasteful gift box, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
- for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the category gift packaging
Raw nutmeg, so also freshly ground nutmeg, contains a lot of myristicin and elemicin, hallicinogenic substances. When you use nutmeg as a spice, you will not notice it, but in higher doses you will. This is the basis for the popularity of the Indonesian nutmeg cigarette, the kretek, which also contains cloves. In normal use, nutmeg is harmless. Overdose is defined as eating one or more whole nuts per day.
- grind nutmeg just before using it in a preparation, once ground it loses its aromas fairly quickly
- keep your nutmeg in closed packaging, for example an open nut in the storage compartment of the nutmeg mill
- preferably store in a dark, dry and cool place
- best before June 2025 (06/25)
- this best before date is an indication