Nutmeg - How To Use

(Also known as True Nutmeg and Fragrant Nutmeg)


Nutmeg has a bittersweet and deep woody flavour for both sweet and savoury dishes. Not everyone is aware, but nutmeg is the seed, or more so, it is the kernel in the seed, and mace is the lacy covering of nutmeg. The nutmeg tree can yield more than 10,000 seeds in the year with several harvests. Nutmeg originates from the Maluku islands, the trinity of islands producing Nutmeg, Cloves and Mace. It can overpower a dish, so it works well with other strong spices. 

It can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, such as baked goods, spiced desserts, or sausages and vegetables.

How do you keep nutmeg fresh?

Always grind nutmeg last minute when using it. When we are making a blend, we prolong the flavour because it can evaporate very quickly when milled. You need to seal that jar quickly. 

What flavours go with nutmeg?

  • Apple
  • Aubergine
  • Avocado
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cinnamon
  • Celery
  • Cloves
  • Chocolate
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Saffron
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Vanilla
  • Walnut

Try our Persian soup blend Advieh Ash rich in nutmeg, it is the perfect partner to butternut squash soup or rich tomato soup. This blend would also pair beautifully with savoury rice or couscous. 

Health Benefits 

Nutmeg produces a group of chemicals called neolignans found in its oil. These are known to act on the tongue and the mouth to give a numbing sense of lasting coolness. Nutmeg may fight depression and anxiety, insomnia and boost brainpower. It has powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidant properties. 

Interesting Facts
  • Native to the Banda island in the Maluku islands, it has a long and fierce history. As a commodity, traders wanted to keep its provenance secret to keep the price inflated.
  • Nutmeg hosts aphrodisiac and healing properties. Large consumption of nutmeg will act as a hallucinogenic, customarily fashionable with the wealthy for this very reason. During the 16th Century, nutmeg was in such demand that it was more valuable than gold in price. Initiating a race to find the source between the Dutch, Portuguese and the British, the Dutch eventually took over the island of Banda. However, in a twist of fate, the Dutch gave up one of the Maluku islands to the British in return for one of their settlements in the New World. They gave Britain "New Amsterdam", which today we know as "New York".
  • On a Saturday evening to the Jewish ritual Farewell for the Feminine Aspect of God, nutmeg is passed around the table along with other spices to remind those that her presence should infuse the week like the sweet smell of spice that fills the air. 
  • Nutmeg is a key ingredient in mulled wine, cider and eggnog.
Chief flavour profile

Myristicin: (woody, warm and balsamic) The myristicin compound makes up a minute part of nutmeg oil, but it plays a big role in the overall flavour. This woody element of myristicin compound complements ginger, black pepper and anise. The oil properties of nutmeg produce a group of chemicals called neolignans that numb your tongue with an enduring coolness. 


Blends to try with Nutmeg

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