What is mace
Mace is the spice made from the reddish seed covering of the nutmeg seed. Its flavour is almost like nutmeg but more delicate. It is used to flavour bakery, meat, fish, vegetables and in preserving and pickling. In the processing of mace, the crimson-colored fresh mace is removed from the nutmeg seed that it envelops and is flattened out and dried for 10 to 14 days. Its color changes to pale yellow, orange, or tan. Whole dry mace consists of flat pieces smooth, horny, and brittle.
A brief history about mace is know on the first century A.D., Roman author Pliny speaks of a tree bearing nuts with two flavors. Emperor Henry VI had the streets of Rome fumigated with nutmegs before his coronation. In the sixth century, nutmegs were brought by Arab merchants to Constantinople. In the fourteenth century, half a kilogram of nutmeg cost as much as three sheep or a cow. The Dutch waged a bloody war, including the massacre and enslavement of the inhabitants of the island of Banda, just to control nutmeg production in the East Indies. In 1760, the price of nutmeg in London was 85 to 90 shillings per pound, a price kept artificially high by the Dutch voluntarily burning full warehouses of nutmegs in Amsterdam. The Dutch held control of the spice islands until World War II.
Mace has a flavor described as a combination of cinnamon and pepper, a more pungent version of nutmeg. It is used in baked goods, particularly donuts, cakes, puddings, custards and desserts, but also in cheese dishes, souffle, sauces, soups, poultry, and fish.
Why I should use mace
Essentially employed as an aromatic agent; mace spice significantly enhances color, taste, and flavor of foods. Besides, it contains some of the health benefiting antioxidant compounds, essential oils, minerals, and vitamins. Mace has more vitamin-C content than nutmeg. 100 g mace spice has 21 mg against just 3 mg of nutmegs. Likewise, mace blades contain more vitamin B2.
As in nutmeg, mace extraction has also been employed in Chinese and Indian traditional medicines for the treatment of illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. The compounds in this spice such as myristicin and elemicin have been found to have soothing as well as stimulant properties on the brain.