Kerala is called the land of spices as it is a place where a wide variety of spices are grown. The unique climate and landscape makes Kerala the ideal place for growing a variety of quality spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom etc. Right from ancient times, Kerala was an important centre of international spice trade. Arabs, Romans, Chinese and the Portuguese, had established trade relations with the kingdoms that ruled this place to access world-class spices.
One of the most complex and alluring spices, grown in Kerala is the mace. It is the sister spice of nutmeg. A nutmeg tree is the only plant that gives us two spices- nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the seed of nutmeg tree while the mace is the protective coat of the nutmeg seed. The flavour and aroma of nutmeg and mace are also different from each other.
Culinary uses of mace
As mace has an intense flavour, it is used more in savoury dishes. It is a spice added to continental dishes such as biryani and is also added to chicken stock and pickles to make them more flavourful. Ground mace can be sprinkled over your cappuccino or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to give them a distinct flavour.
Medicinal values of mace
Besides making dishes tastier, mace also has several medicinal properties. It contains chemicals that affect the central nervous system. The spice is good for alleviating nausea and vomiting. It is taken by mouth for diarrhoea, stomach spasms and pain as well as intestinal gas. It is also good to increase appetite. Mace is used for treating cancer and kidney disease. Further, mace is applied on skin to relieve joint pain related to rheumatism. Mace is also effective in killing bacteria and fungi.
However, experts warn against using mace in high doses, especially for pregnant women. Mace contains a chemical called myristicin, which is hallucinogen. So, it creates hallucinations and mental side effects. The same is true for nutmeg as well. So it is not advised to consume mace in doses larger than amounts found in foods.
Do you wish to spice up your foods with the flavour of mace and nutmeg? Buy these spices online at world-class quality.