Nutmeg or Jaiphal – Evergreen Indian spice

Nutmeg is an evergreen tree native to the Moluccas island of Indonesia. It provides two spices – nutmeg and mace. Mostly grown extensively in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Granada, Kerala, Sri Lanka, and South America.


Nutmeg or Jaiphal


Nutmeg and mace both are obtained from a tree called Myristica. There are many species of Myristica, but most of the commercial nutmeg is derived from Myristica fragrans. There are about 40 species of Myristica species, which are available in India, Australia, and the Pacific Ocean islands. Its flowers are small, tufted, and orbital (axillary).



Nutmeg and Mace


The seeds of the Myristica tree are called nutmeg. This seed is covered by a bijopang (aril) from all around. This bijopang is the substance of commercial importance javitri. The fruit of this tree is of small pear form from 1 inch to one and a half-inch long, light red or yellow pulp.



Nutmeg fruit



When ripe, the fruit is split into two segments and a vermilion or bovine of vermilion begins to appear inside. There is a kernel inside the mace, whose nutmeg is obtained by breaking the wood shell. Nutmeg and mace are obtained mainly from the East Indies for trade.

The tree grows in the warm and moist valleys of the tropics at altitudes of 400–500 feet from the coast. Deep and fertile clay soil with drainage is suitable for its success. Its trees thrive on attaining years of age. Male or female trees are difficult to identify before flowering.

In Granada (West Indies), males and beetles are generally found in the ratio of 3: 1. In Jamaica’s botanical gardens, the growth of the female tree has been achieved by planting a twig of the Madavriksha on small nutmeg plants.


Many species of trees in the genus Myristica contain nutmeg. Among the commercial species, Myristica fragrans is the most important species, it is always found in the Spice Islands in Moluccas, Indonesia. The tree is very important for two spices which are derived from two fruits nutmeg and mace.


Seed of the Tree

The actual seed of the tree is nutmeg, which is roughly egg-shaped and 20 to 30 mm (0.07 to 0.1 ft) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.05 to 0.06 ft) wide and 5 more Weights between 10 grams, while mace is a dry “lacquered” red cover or seed-covering rind. This is one such tropical fruit that has two distinct spices.

Many other commercial products are also produced from its tree, including essential oils, squeezed oleoresins, and butter. The outer surface of the spice is easily crushed. Pericarp (fruit/pod) is used to make jam in Granada known as “Morne Delis”.



Nutmeg Jam



The basic production of the common or aromatic nutmeg Myristica fragrans is in Banda Island, Indonesia, but also in Penang Island, Malaysia, and the Caribbean, especially in Granada. It also grows in Kerala, a state in the southern part of India. Other species of nutmeg include the Papuan nutmeg from New Guiana, Bombay nutmeg from India, known as nutmeg in Hindi.

The taste qualities of nutmeg and mace are almost the same, nutmeg is slightly sweeter while mace is more delicious. Mace is often used in light foods due to its orange and saffron color. The addition of cheese sauce makes it even tastier and is the freshest gravy. It is a traditional spice in mulled cider (non-alcoholic apple liqueur).


Mulled Apple cider liquor


Uses of Nutmeg

In Penang cuisine, pickle is made and these are sliced ​​in the form of pickle toppings on the typical Penang es cassang. It  is also mixed (to make them fresh, green, tangy flavor and white-colored juice) or boiled (resulting in very sweet and brown juice) to make iced  juice or Penang Hokken called Called “Lau How Peng”, is made as.


In Indian cuisine, spice is used in sweet as well as savory dishes (mainly in Mughalai cuisine). In most parts of India, it is known as nutmeg, while in Kerala it is called jatipatri and jathi seed. It can also be used in small quantities in hot spices. In India, the powder of spice is also used for smoking.



This spice is used as an ingredient in various Japanese curry powders.In the Caribbean, most often used in beverages such as Bushwacker, Painkiller, Barvados rum punch and usually sprinkled just above the beverage.



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