Gourmet Food Source
Mace is the red orange aril, which covers the ripe seed of the nutmeg.
They are harvested from the nutmeg tree, a large evergreen of the Spice Islands and now planted commercially in Grenada.
The yield of mace from a tree is much less than that of nutmeg with the latter much more commonly available.
A common ingredient in old English cookery, it is excellent for flavouring white sauces, soups, stews, fish and vegetable dishes, tarts, quiches, potted meats and baked goods.
Most often found in its powdered form, a small pinch will go a long way and can easily overpower a dish. Blade mace (as pictured) is harder to find and notoriously difficult to grind into any semblance of a powder. Use it sparingly by dropping a blade or two into your milk, cream or stock and pick it out when suitably infused. If a recipe calls for mace and you only have nutmeg then do not rush out to buy some, the two are easily interchangeable.
Content and picture © Miles Collins