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Mace is a spice, derived from the same fruit as nutmeg. What many people do not know is that mace is the aril around the nutmeg. The aril is also called 'arillus'. Because mace and nutmeg come from the same fruit, they smell and taste similar. After drying the nutmeg in the sun, the shell bursts and the nut and mace are released. The mace is then carefully and manually separated from the nut and dried.
Mace is the aril or arillus of the nutmeg. The aril is fresh orange red. The spice has a warm, aromatic, fine and subtle flavour with a lemony sweetness and a powerful bitter flower. Mace and nutmeg come from the same fruit. This makes the two spices very similar. Mace smells a little more refreshing like flowers and citrus. Nutmeg has a harder smell and flavour, especially the musk smell is stronger.
Mace originating from Indonesia has a nice capsule with holes, called the aril, and has a fresh orange red color. The original growth area of mace is in the Moluccas. However, it also grows in Sri Lanka and the West Indian islands. Like nutmeg, the mace supplied by Verstegen comes from the Indonesian Banda island of Sangihe.
Mace can always be used instead of nutmeg. Compared to nutmeg, mace gives your dish a milder warm flavour. Traditionally, mace is used in the kitchen for chicken stock and is cooked with asparagus. In the Dutch kitchen, it is also sprinkled over vegetables. Because mace has a mild, warm flavour, the spice also goes well with desserts and cakes.