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Whole nutmeg from Indonesia, in resealable packaging. Once the casus belli of many wars, a small sack of which was worth a mansion in London, it is a base ingredient in tomato sauce and in lasagne's béchamel.
Nutmeg is a member of the Myristicacee family and is native to the Banda Islands in Eastern Indonesia. It looks like a large dark beige oval seed. What is used of nutmeg is the kernel. It has an unmistakable, sweet and aromatic scent with light notes of resin and camphor. Through the Portuguese who over 4 centuries ago began a massive trade in it, the West was able to appreciate nutmeg and has made extensive use of it ever since. Whole nutmegs keep for a very long time, while if grated they tend to lose their intense aroma quite quickly. It is therefore advisable to buy whole nuts and grate them by hand when needed with a small grater.
Nutmeg is used in Italian cuisine for various savoury recipes such as béchamel and mashed potatoes but also for filling ravioli and tortellini and, why not, to flavour sautéed vegetables. Nutmeg often also flavours alcoholic beverages such as cocktails, mulled wine and punch. It also gives a particular fragrance to sweet creams, puddings and apple-based cakes.
Botanical name: Myristica fragrans