A friend and I took a trip to a spice store awhile back, before making the trip I thought I should go through my two (yes two) spice cabinets and see what all I was running low on. I found a small container in my "sweet spices" labeled ground mace. It had been opened and I kind of remember buying it and using it for something, but couldn't remember what. I opened the jar and took a sniff. Oh my. I LOVE that smell!! How am I not eating this on everything??
I read the back of the jar and sure enough - you CAN eat it on everything! From chocolate and pound cakes, to fish and veggies. So I began to add it to more and more foods, sprinkled on my broccoli - good. Mixed in the doughnut batter - good. Sprinkled on chicken and in my coffee.... good!! How have I been missing this and why does it taste and smell so familiar?
Time to Google. (Yes, I am one of those people. I cannot have a conversation with an unanswered question looming. I love my iPhone, I may not know what else that actor played in - but I will find out and tell you and I have to do it NOW. I know there must be a self-help or Anon group somewhere for me - I'll Google it. Later.)
No wonder I love Mace, it is from the nutmeg fruit. Nutmeg, another favorite flavor. The nutmeg is the center seed, mace is a lace-like membrane that covers the seed. It is quite beautiful.
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The outside fruit is edible, the red membrane becomes Mace and the seed is the Nutmeg pod. Mace is much milder in flavor than nutmeg, not as peppery, but still has that wonderful taste and smell. I just finished baking some banana bread and the house smells wonderful! I also found out that mace is one of the ingredients in hot-dogs. Can't get more versatile than that!
So, if you've been looking to mix it up a bit in the kitchen, start with a small jar of mace and sprinkle away - please let me know if you find something it DOESN'T work with. I'm having it on my popcorn today for a quick snack. Oh, and in case you are wondering - Mace is now a brand name for pepper spray and it's made out of the capsaicin found in chili peppers, nothing to do with ground mace or nutmeg.