Nutmeg is a fragrant spice, with complex, bitter-sweet notes. It’s most potent when freshly-grated. A little goes a long way – and a small pinch might bring a hint of sweetness and warmth to butternut squash pasta or a savoury-spiced note to custard tarts.
Wars have been waged over nutmeg trade routes, and it was hugely popular during the medieval times when nutmeg laced rich game and stuffing. Now, it’s mostly thought of as a ‘sweet spice’ (along with allspice, cinnamon and cloves), used in tarts, custards and rice pudding.
Though nutmeg has a luxurious quality, there’s no reason it can’t be used on a daily basis – use a pinch to pep up porridge, braised red cabbage, potato dauphinoise, a Béchamel sauce or a wilted spinach side ... though we are taking inspiration from a recent trip to Grenada where nutmeg is celebrated in an even more broad range of dishes from Nutmeg chicken to Nutmeg ice cream and Nutmeg pancakes!
ALSO KNOWN AS: Myristica, true nutmeg
We are lucky to be the sole stockist of nutmeg from L'Esterre Estate, in Grenada. It's a family estate run by forth-generation grower, Bobbie Garbutt, who focuses on growing organically in a biodiverse climate where the nutmeg trees are interspersed with cocoa, hibiscus, banana trees which all thrive in Grenada's volcanic-rich soil. Nutmeg is harvested year-round and dried in Grenville, at one of 'The Spice Island's' co-operative processing units. The climate on Grenada is one of the best for growing spices, and Bobbie's care and attention to detail ensures top quality produce which really is reflected in the taste.
Nutmeg seeds might seem robust, but always store them in a dark, airtight container. Use a grater to freshly file shavings of nutmeg from the seed as and when it’s needed.
Nutmeg, when used in small amounts, has been recommended as a natural remedy for sleeplessness or insomnia. Nutmeg is also thought to contain various compounds that boost mood, help relieve pain, and relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure. To read more, click HERE.