Nutmeg is a spice that has been around for centuries, but how much do we know about it? Let's explore the world of nutmeg and see what makes it so unique.
The nutmeg tree is an evergreen tree originally from Indonesia. It can grow up to 20 meters tall, and it produces a fruit that is about the size of an orange. The seed/pit of the fruit is what we use to make nutmeg spice.
Introduced to Europe in the early 1500s, it quickly became popular because it masked the smell of rotten food and was believed to have hallucinogenic and medicinal properties.
The value of nutmeg was astronomical. The source of nutmeg was kept secret and supply limited. As such, merchants made astronomical profits, it literally was worth more than its weight in gold.
Christopher Columbus discovered the new world in his search for an eastern trade route to Asia.
Bloody wars were fought between the British and Dutch to obtain control of the source and distribution of the spice, with more than 10,000 lives lost over many years.
Peace came in 1667 in the form of a land settlement. The Dutch traded New Amsterdam in the Americas for two British Indonesian islands. In hindsight, the British effectively exchanged the old world trade centre for what would become the new world trade centre. New Amsterdam became New York.
During their occupation of the East Indies, the British took nutmeg seedlings planted them in British colonies, where some plantations flourished. With an increased supply to the market, the price of nutmeg fell, making it affordable to the middle classes.
Today, nutmeg is still popular as a spice, and it is used in both savoury and sweet dishes. It has also been gaining popularity as a natural remedy for various health problems. Some of the potential benefits of using nutmeg include relief from pain and inflammation, improved digestion, and better sleep quality.
It is often associated with traditional christmas recipes such as bread sauce and mulled wine.
Recipes including nutmeg:
The Zing Foods Pepper Spiced Oil is a fiery mix of over twelve spices, including nutmeg. The spices are roasted to release their flavours and blended with an organic coconut cooking oil that has been gently steamed, removing the strong coconut taste.
This creates a neutral-tasting base for adding the spicier ingredients.
All of the oils in our range add instant flavour when you cook with them. Try frying, roasting, melting or spreading with them, and they can also be added to recipes to enhance the flavour. The oils are Vegan-Friendly Certified and are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making them perfect for the whole family.
Below is a link to one of our quick and easy recipes:
Zingy Cardamom Spiced Vegetable Pasta
A delicious pasta sauce that happens to be vegan and vegetarian friendly!
Nutmeg is also a term used in football when a player kicks a ball through an opponent's legs.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOoOPPA7cwI