Nutmegs are the seed pits of a plum-like fruit growing on a large evergreen tree native to the Banda Islands.
Nutmeg was the subject of the great spice wars of the 16th C. through the 18th C., which involved the major trading nations of Europe.
Today the best quality nutmeg comes from the West Indies.
In colonial America, nutmeg was a favorite spice.
Nutmegs were costly and often gilded and ribboned and given as gifts.
Ladies and gentlemen carried them about in "snuff" boxes as a sign of luxury.
Use freshly ground INDIA TREE Nutmeg not only as a baking spice, but to flavor vegetables, meat, and cheese dishes; add it to mulled cider and eggnog; use it to top hot chocolate and espresso drinks; add a pinch of grated nutmeg to béchamel sauce for use in pasta dishes, gratins, and soufflès; use it to season potato soup; combine it with onion, ricotta cheese, and sage in a winter squash filling for tortellini; use it to flavor such desserts as pear and almond cake or fried bananas.
One of our favorite Chef Celebrities carries a nutmeg in his pocket to spice up life everywhere he goes. Can you guess who?