Both Mace and Nutmeg are derived from the fruit of the
same tree, Myristica fragrans. Mace is the thin, bright
red aril or lace-like covering over the shell of the
Nutmeg. Its flavor is similar to Nutmeg but more delicate.
Mace is used in soups, cream sauces, lamb, chicken, potted
meats, cheeses, stuffing, sausages, puddings, ketchup,
baked goods, and donuts. It is used in French, English,
Asian, West Indian, and Indian cuisines, and the spice
blends garam masala, curry, and rendang.
The primary source of Mace is Indonesia. Historically,
Mace originating from the East Indies has been considered
premium due to its bold orange color, rich flavor and high
volatile oil content. Mace produced in the West Indies is
yellowish in color and has a milder flavor.
Until the 18th Century, the world's only source of Mace
and Nutmeg was the area known as Indonesia. When the Dutch
took control of this area, Mace and Nutmeg were among the
richest prizes. Knowing these spices did not grow
elsewhere, they proceeded to establish one of the tightest
monopolies the world has ever known. There is a legend
that it was a Frenchman who started the erosion of Dutch
control by smuggling seedlings out of the East Indies.
True or not, it is a fact that a series of transplantings
did occur and a number of other areas began producing