(Last Updated on : 11/07/2011)
Mace is originally grown from the Nutmeg
tree in Molucca Islands in Indonesia. Mace is produced from the Myristica Franrans, a member of the Mayriticaceae family. The plant grows into a tropical evergreen tree of up to thirty feet tall. The same tree also produces the better known Nutmeg spice. There are both male and female trees and are planted in a ratio of about one male tree for every ten female trees. Mace is a form of spice made from the waxy red covering which covers nutmeg seeds. The flavour is almost similar to that of nutmeg, with a hint of pepper. Mace is readily available in many cooking supply stores in both whole and ground form, and it has a wide range of uses from desserts to savoury roast meats. It complements a variety of foods. It is also used in sauces for fish and pickle chutneys.
The Portuguese controlled the Mace trade until they were driven out by the Dutch in 1602. The Nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit, Nutmeg and Mace. Mace is a strong aromatic, resinous and warm in taste. It is similar to nutmeg; however, it generally has a finer aroma than nutmeg. Mace is the ground outer covering (Aril) of the nutmeg seed. A piece of ungrounded Mace is called a Blade. It is commonly found in Indonesia, Grenada. The more the mace gets drier it turns out to be more orange in colour that resembles its guarantee of high quality. The mace is also found in Creamy and Brown varieties. The whole dried mace is known as Blade. Mace has a flavour and aroma similar to Nutmeg, with slightly more pungency.
Uses of Mace
Mace has a versatile flavour that can be used in various cooking preparations. Mace is the main flavouring of White Sauce, Lasagna, Stews and Ragouts, also for Sausages and Pastries, Jam, and in some Indian desserts and also in Mughlai cuisine. In Hindi it is known as Javitri, Javinthri, Jaypatri. The Mace is highly nutritional product that contains protein and fibre.
Spices add variety in cooking and food preparation. It also add aroma to enhance taste of the food. It is the dominant flavour in doughnuts. Mace can be used just as Nutmeg in things like cakes, scones, and spice cookies. It can also be used in curries, soups, cream sauces, roasts, and various other ingredients.
Besides its culinary uses Mace has also great medicinal values. Mace is recommended for the treatment of inflammations of the bladder and urinary tract. It helps increasing appetite and reducing nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
and a helpful option for many digestive problems. It can also be used externally to reduce the pain of arthritis and chronic rheumatism.