Nutmeg tree is one of the several species of trees in genus Myristica and the most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans and evergreen tree native to Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia or Spice Islands. Nutmeg comes from the fruit of a 15m tall tropical evergreen tree. The bark is smooth and grey brown with green young branches and leaves. The egg-shaped, fleshy fruit, called the nutmeg apple, contains a nut popularly known as Nutmeg.
The nutmeg is known to be a prized and costly spice in the European medieval cuisine and used as a flavoring, medicinal and preservative agent. Used in Chinese and East Indian cultures as a healthful and aphrodisiac, as well as flavor booster, it was once a rare, costly spice prized by Byzantine traders who obtained it from Arabia.
Of all the be-loved seasonal spices, nutmeg stood top for its layering flavor, distinctive pungent fragrance and slightly twisted sweet taste. Nutmeg is predominantly used in Mughlai cuisine. Nutmeg is usually used in powdered form. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices (i.e. nutmeg and mace). Several other products are also produced from this tree which includes essential oils, extracted oleoresins and nutmeg butter.
Nutmeg Powder is just a sprinkle on the top of the drink. The essential oils extracted from the nutmeg contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavoring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food.
The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems. Nutmeg has been known to poison some small animals for over consumption.
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi-solid, reddish brown in color, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. At one time, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices. It has been said that in England, several hundred years ago, a few nutmegs could be sold for enough money to enable financial independence for life.
Benefits of Netmug:
In north India, nutmeg is used in preparing the most popular dish called Palak Sabji, candied yams, puranpoli, bebinca and in the South India it is used in Bisibelebath, Banana pie, Junni (Milk pudding) and a lot more...