Nutmeg

Ingredients

  • Organic + Fairtrade Nutmeg

Origin​

  • Sri Lanka

Form

  • Powder

Certification

  • Organic, Kosher

Typical Use

  • All year

Background

  • The power of trading highly desirable spices led the Dutch East India Company to take extreme measures protecting their sources. Nutmeg originated from the Spice Islands (part of Indonesia) and the Dutch wrestled the islands from the Portuguese and more importantly from the local population. The value of nutmeg in the middle age was so high that the Dutch were pursuing exclusive control of all nutmeg production worldwide by trading one spice island held by Britain for the island of Manhattan and its town Nieuw Amsterdam. As with most monopolies, political and economic pressure over time leads to legal dissolution, military action, or theft to break the monopoly. In the case of nutmeg, military action by England led to the takeover of the spice islands and the subsequent transplanting of nutmeg trees to other parts of the British Empire. That transplanting brought nutmeg trees to India and that is our organic nutmeg's origin.

Cooking

  • Nutmeg is widely used in cuisines around the world. Due to its origin from a few islands now part of Indonesia, it is used various dishes across most of Indonesian cooking. Nutmeg spread to Europe with a wider use in Northern European cooking (probably because of nutmeg - especially whole - stores easily and stays flavorful for a long time).

Cultural​

  • The localities (i.e. the Banda islands) where nutmeg was first grown have seen an enormous impact on their cultures. First Indian and Arab traders provided income to the inhabitant because of the value of nutmeg (even though the traders benefited the most). During the Middle Ages and beyond, the inhabitants were subjected to western colonialism (even switching hands from the Portuguese to England and the Dutch without any participation or say in that decision). Part of that switching between the English and the Dutch involved the Bandanese killing the intruders, then having the traders kill each other, the Dutch torturing and killing a large number of English traders, and then killing the vast majority of the Bandanese and enslaving the rest (another sad example of the brutality of colonialism, with genocide along the way).

​Spiritual

  • Given the high desirability of nutmeg (and mace) by the wealth of the middle ages, it is not a surprise that there is more to nutmeg than just its "spice"- value. Nutmeg has a reputation for brain stimulation and in large quantities has hallucinogenic effects. Too much nutmeg can be toxic, induce psychosis or even death, so use nutmeg in spice quantities only.

Medicinal​

  • Nutmeg and mace are used for diarrhea, nausea, stomach spasms and pain, and intestinal gas. They are also used for treating cancer, kidney disease, and trouble sleeping (insomnia). 
    Nutmeg contains potassium, iron, manganese, thiamin, folate, magnesium, copper and vitamins including B1, B6. Furthermore, today people are also using this seed as a natural cure for numerous diseases due to its diverse beneficial properties such as psychoactive, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory properties.

Recipes

Glazed ham - https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/clove-and-cider-glazed-ham
 

Slow cooked rice pudding - https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/slow_cooker_rice_pudding_31359
 

Jerk chicken - https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014722-no-fuss-jerk-chicken?action=click&module=Local%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1
 

Lamb Tagine - https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018513-lamb-tagine?action=click&module=Local%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=2

 

Shop​

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Copyright © 2019 Five Continent Spices

Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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(408) 714-0009