Independence Day 2015 & The Nutmeg

Nutmeg1 Is there anyone else out there that loves the smell of Nutmeg?

Today, the 7th of February, 2015 is the 41st anniversary of Grenada’s (greh-NAY-dah’s) Independence.

I grew up in the Spice Island of Grenada and  awakened this morning with a desire to write a little something about my home for today’s writing exercise. As I was thinking about a subject matter for my writing today, I made myself a cup of Chai Tea and then instinctively sprinkled a bit of Nutmeg on top. Doesn’t everyone do that?

I sipped on my tea, and smelled that wonderful and powerful aroma of the Nutmeg. Right then, I had a realisation.  Nutmeg is not a staple in most people’s diet and probably not a spice that most people would even think to add to their food or drink outside of perhaps, the Holiday Season.

Growing up in the Spice Island of Grenada,  Nutmeg was more than just a Holiday Tradition.  The aroma and taste of Nutmeg is something that melds with just about all foods as far as I am concerned!!  To be honest, I can live without salt or pepper but not without nutmeg and cinnamon!

Grenada attained its political independence from Britain in 1974 which meant having a new flag uniquely Grenadian.  The key element remaining on the new flag was the Nutmeg.  Nutmeg and tourism are the two main sources of revenue for Grenada so it is quite fitting that the Nutmeg dons our flag with honour.

Although from the sound of it’s name you might be inclined to consider the Nutmeg a nut, this is not the case.  The Nutmeg is in fact a fruit.  As the Nutmeg fruit ripens, it splits open while still on the tree, to reveal it’s seed.  Nutmeg the spice, is derived from the oval-shaped, lightly wrinkled dark brown seed of the Nutmeg fruit.  It is sold either whole or ground.  The best taste is derived from grinding the Nutmeg yourself when ready to use it.  This is not as practical as buying the already ground form of Nutmeg in the spice jar, but there is a definite enhancement of taste when you grind it yourself!

Covering the Nutmeg seed is a net-like bright red membrane which is in fact the Nutmeg’s twin spice, Mace.   The yellow outer body of the Nutmeg is the pericarp.  It is edible and used to make nutmeg jelly, syrup, and candy.  No part of the Nutmeg fruit is wasted in Grenada but the only parts really exported are the Mace and the Nutmeg seed.

I challenge you to consider integrating Nutmeg into your diet.  You will not be disappointed!  It really is not just for holidays and desserts.  Nutmeg is wonderful on sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage, broccoli & spinach.  Add a bit of butter or coconut oil to awaken your taste-buds to a flavourful combination.  Sprinkle it on raw or cooked apples or bananas to name a few fruits or add it to the top of your fruit salad.  Nutmeg on your breakfast foods, scrambled eggs, pancakes or oatmeal is delectable.  Nutmeg is generally best as an additive sprinkled after cooking on food that is still warm or freshly baked.  Do consider adding a touch of Nutmeg to your diet and spread the word!!

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Indonesia and Grenada are the only two significant exporters of Nutmeg with Grenada holding about 20% of the market!

 

 

15 thoughts on “Independence Day 2015 & The Nutmeg

  1. I studied in Indonesia and I can attest to the fact that Indonesia is one of the main exporters of Nutmeg. Nice write up it makes want to return back there again :).

  2. I LOVE nutmeg. A lot of our family recipes need nutmeg, maybe because my family is English.The problem now is that nutmeg is SO expensive, and the fake spice just isn’t the same. I have not tried it in tea, but I think I will. Great post…very nice blog.
    my url http://mumbletymuse.com in case you would like to visit…your comments are welcome.

  3. I know that last comment I made probably doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. But Grenada is one of the islands that the English colonized, I believe. So it makes me think of nutmeg, which makes me think of my family baking and cooking. There is no substitute for nutmeg.

  4. Yes -Nutmeg was part of the spice trade which is how it came to Grenada and back in early colonizing days Nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices almost like money for the purpose of trade as I understand. The Dutch were the real traders but they introduced it to others who quickly found how wonderful it is. It is actually still banned in Saudi Arabia because it is seen as a drug since there are those who consider it to have medicinal value.

  5. Have you heard the children’s rhyme that goes: Probably a nursery rhyme.

    I have a little nut tree,
    and nothing does it bear,
    except a silver nutmeg,
    and a golen pear.

    (don’t know who wrote it, not me)

  6. othergoose about 1797
    googled have a little nut tree silver nutmeg golden pear and all kinds of info came up.

    Hey, I am a Latin American historian, and this kind of stuff is right up my alley. My husband says I’m nuts. 🙂

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