A spice, native to the Spice Islands, that is used to add a sweet and savory flavor to a variety of foods. It is made from the net-like casing that surrounds the nutmeg seed contained inside the hard pit of the nutmeg fruit. The yellow colored fruit is edible and when split open, exposes a net-like casing that covers the nutmeg pit. When first removed from the nutmeg seed, this mesh casing or membrane (aril) is oval shaped and somewhat brittle. It is flattened, dried and sold as mace blades or ground into powdered mace. Like nutmeg, mace is a sweet and flavorful spice, which can be substituted for nutmeg or cinnamon to complement other foods. Food manufacturers use mace to flavor hot dogs and donuts. It may be used for infusions when preparing sauces or flavored milk and is also a nice complement to fish, meat, and other dishes. Mace is most often used with sweet or spicy dishes such as pies, custards, puddings, cookies, cakes, and beverages such as milk or egg-based beverages, mulled wine, and punch. And, it adds a nice flavor to soufflés, vegetables, egg dishes, sausages, lamb, and fish.
Mace has several health benefits that are different from what nutmeg offers. It is less in calories but contains more vitamin C, A, carotenes, calcium and iron than nutmeg. The active principles in mace have several therapeutic applications in numerous conventional medicines such as anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, carminative and anti-fungal functions.
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