Although not very commonly used, nutmeg and mace are greatly appreciated in the world of spices.
Nutmeg is the hard pit sitting in the core of the nutmeg tree’s fruit, whereas mace is the coating that covers the outer layer of the pits.
The enormous, evergreen nutmeg tree can grow to a height of around 18 meters and is a member of the Myristicaceae family. It can mainly be found in the Banda Islands, a small group of islands in eastern Indonesia.
Comparing nutmeg and mace is a difficult riddle to solve, especially if you have little to no familiarity with these unique spices.
So, in this chapter of our “spice studies,” we’ll look at the distinctions between nutmeg and mace. If you’re ready to spice up your cuisine, the trip begins here!
Both mace and nutmeg are products of the nutmeg tree. As we ascertained, nutmeg is the seed, while mace is the aril, a thin tissue stretched across the nutmeg seed’s coat.
Mace is regarded to have a more refined aroma than nutmeg, despite the fact that both of its spices have warm, woodsy, and strongly fragrant flavors.
Nutmeg can quickly lose its fragrance when ground, so we advise buying it fresh and grinding it when needed.
Mace characteristically composes a higher concentration of certain essential oils, making it more heart-healthy, which we’ll talk about in a bit. Until then, learn more about these two distinct spices.
Nutmeg seeds have an oval shape, a rough coating, and ridges that run in spider patterns. Their interior is dark brown, with a pattern resembling veins scattered all over their insides.
Once dried, the seeds turn somewhat gray. However, ground nutmeg takes on a completely different color — brown with reddish nuances.
Mace definitely sticks out with its strikingly crimson hue. It has a peculiar appearance that’s very similar to an octopus if you look at it closely.
When dried, mace turns its vivid crimson color to yellowish orange. As a result, many cooks also use it as a natural food coloring.
Nutmeg is primarily regarded as a sweet condiment, yet its flavor is far from being characteristic of syrupy sweetness. It has hints of sweetness, nuttiness, and earthiness.
That said, nutmeg is sweeter and gentler than its cousin mace, which is described as more powerful and potent.
Mace’s flavors of woodiness also give your food a hint of nutmeg while adding spicy, warm notes resembling other winter-season spices.
All in all, both mace and nutmeg are equally unique spices with complex flavors. However, if you need a richer flavor, then mace clearly outperforms nutmeg.
Ground nutmeg has a shelf-life of two years, while whole nutmeg seeds can maintain good quality for four years if properly stored in an airtight jar.
Mace powder has a shelf-life of up to two years. Whole mace, on the other hand, may last up to four years if kept in an airtight jar like you would with nutmeg.
In regard to price, nutmeg is less costly than mace. That said, ground mace and nutmeg are available at practically all supermarkets and grocery stores. Whole nutmeg and mace, on the other hand, are often available at specialty shops.
|What is it?||Nutmeg is a spice formed from a nutmeg tree fruit pit||Mace is a spice from the reddish outer skin of the nutmeg tree fruit pit|
|Appearance||It is an oval-shaped, dark-brown nutmeg fruit pit||It appears in the form of a crimson webbing that envelopes the fruit’s pit|
|Flavor||It tastes milder and sweeter||Has a stronger taste|
|Price||It’s more affordable||It is usually more pricey|
|Shelf life||2 to 4 years||2 to 4 years|
|Availability||Ground and entire seeds are available||Dry blades and ground nutmeg are available|
Nutmeg has long been widely utilized as an alternative treatment for many ailments in traditional medicine in South Indian, Arabic, and Asian nations.
This walnut-sized spice has several health benefits for your body, including maintaining a healthy digestive tract and easing chronic pain.
This is due to the fact that nutmeg is a rich source of minerals, essential oils, fibers, and vitamins.
Mace, however, is richer in minerals than its equivalent, particularly copper and iron. It also has a larger concentration of volatile essential oils.
All things considered, let’s see which one is healthier.
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 mg|
|Carbs||49.29 g||50.50 g|
|Fiber||20.8 g||20.2 g|
|Fat||36.31 g||32.38 g|
|Protein||5.84 g||6.71 g|
|Vitamin C||3 mg||21 mg|
|Folates||76 µg||76 µg|
|Vitamin A||102 IU||800 IU|
|Pyridoxine||0.160 mg||0.160 mg|
|Thiamin||0.346 mg||0.312 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.057 mg||0.448 mg|
|Niacin||1.299 mg||1.350 mg|
|Potassium||350 mg||463 mg|
|Sodium||16 mg||80 mg|
|Zinc||2.15 mg||2.15 mg|
|Iron||3.04 mg||13.90 mg|
|Calcium||184 mg||252 mg|
|Magnesium||193 mg||163 mg|
|Copper||1.027 mg||2.467 mg|
|Manganese||2.900 mg||1.500 mg|
|Phosphorous||213 mg||110 mg|
Mace can be used instead of nutmeg, and vice versa. Considering how similar the flavor qualities of nutmeg and mace are, they can be easily swapped for one another.
However, remember that mace has a stronger flavor, so use only half as much mace as you would nutmeg. If you want to use nutmeg in place of mace, double the amount.
If the flavor of the spice is overpowering other ingredients, you can dilute it with a dairy product like milk or simply combine it with other spices.
Nutmeg may easily be substituted with other spices, like garam masala, cloves, or cinnamon. Mace may be swapped with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, or pumpkin spice.
Holidays and wintry weather go hand in hand with mace and nutmeg. Due to their warmth, these spices are used in various savory and sweet recipes. Here are ideas for festive delicacies that use these spices.
For anybody who likes the flavor of spice and the richness of nuts, this recipe for Armenian nutmeg cake is the ideal treat. The blend of flavors is really pretty harmonious, and the end result is not excessively sweet.
The cake is light and fluffy, and the nutmeg and walnuts help bring out that wintery flavor. Each mouthful is a genuinely unique experience — tasty and crunchy, just how it is supposed to be!
This multi-root veggie soup has a pleasant flavor and lots of personality. It’s divinely smooth and has a silky and creamy feel.
Additionally, it is incredibly nourishing — perfect for kids! The combination of sweet potato, leek, parsnip, carrots, turnip, butternut squash, mace, and fresh herbs delivers a mouthwatering end result we all search for in a winter soup.
We all love a piece of French toast first thing in the morning (or after coffee, for some of us!). There’s no better combo than eggs, butter, and milk — they are the creamy foundation that gives each slice of toasted bread an unbelievably exquisite flavor.
However, this traditional meal is truly elevated by the addition of nutmeg and cinnamon, which gives it a warm, rich flavor. Additionally, you may even sprinkle some simple syrup over your French toast for an extra sense of opulence.
Swedish Nutmeg Meatballs
Swedish meatballs are a delectable and simple recipe ideal for formal holiday celebrations as well as casual family gatherings.
Nutmeg not only imparts a delicious nutty taste to the meatballs but also helps to soften the meat, increasing its juiciness. Mashed potatoes, fried rice, or even steamed veggies pair perfectly with Swedish meatballs. If you give it a try, you’ll have a supper worthy of a feast.
This mace cake is our favorite holiday recipe! It’s simultaneously tasty, moist, and creamy. The crunchy coconut is the ideal addition to the vanilla buttercream. In other words, it makes it far more exotic when paired with mace.
Mace cake has just the right amount of wetness and sweetness, with a gritty coconut flavor to counterbalance the buttercream.
The best part is that you’ll get that rich taste without using any ingredients that are too unfamiliar. Coconut, milk, powdered mace, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt is all you’ll need!
Although both nutmeg and mace are derived from the same tree, they differ greatly from one another while yet sharing many similar characteristics.
Both of these condiments are generally warm, nutty, and somewhat spicy. However, their appearance is different, and mace is somewhat healthier than nutmeg.
Variety is, after all, the spice of life. So, don’t hesitate to substitute both of these unique spices in your meal if you’re cooking up a recipe that calls for either.