Whole Mace at a Glance
Mace and nutmeg are two parts of the same fruit from the same tree, the nutmeg tree. The fruit splits when it becomes ripe, giving way to beautiful red arils which are the mace.
It’s easy to think of nutmeg as soon as you start smelling the mace. They both share a rich, identifiable aroma, only mace typically carries stronger hints of cloves and pepper and is a tad more lemony.
Adding whole mace as an ingredient to your sauces, soups, and even processed meats, can add an unforgettable sense of savoriness to the cuisine.
Cooking with Whole Mace
For our selection of whole mace recipes, we decided to look at some of the more traditional southern Asian dishes we could find.
Here are a few ideas to help you wow your guests at the next special dinner event.
- Charcoal Smoked Chicken Tikka Biryani: Native to the Punjab region, chicken tikka is a popular dish in both Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Mace can be added along with other spices like cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, and green chillies. You can also add a combination of star anise, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, and bay leaves for an even more well-rounded flavor.
- Mutton Posto Biryani: This Bengali dish is similarly perfected via an infusion of many spices. Some you may consider are coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, green cardamom, and garam masala powder.
- Kathal Ke Shami Kebab: A very healthy recipe, this kathal ke shami kebab contains loads of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It begins with ⅓ cup of Bengal Gram lentil soaked overnight, and is then given a number of similar spices to those in the dishes mentioned above.
Whole Mace Health Benefits
Mace has many important health benefits. It can alleviate anxiety and symptoms of depression, boost blood circulation, improve nervous system function, massage and joint relief, and dental health.
Like ginger, whole mace can also improve indigestion. It is a rich source of nutrients and vitamins, including copper, manganese, iron, and potassium. Brain health can be improved via important oils like macelignan which have been used to decrease the degradation of neural pathways.
Mace can also help improve kidney health, preventing kidney stones and treating infections.
Why You Want Whole Mace
When your taste buds are calling for nutmeg but you want a tinge of citrus, mace might be the subtler option you’ve been looking for.
Mace is perhaps best served with fruit, especially peaches or raspberries, as it effectively brings out the sweetness in those fruits. Because of this, mace complements many cocktails with a nice tangy infusion.
Where Does Whole Mace Come From?
Nutmeg trees are most commonly grown in southeast Asia, but they can also be grown in certain USDA zones (10 and 11).
The main factor is soil. Nutmeg should be planted in rich soil that’s well-drained. Mulching around the tree can assist in water retention, but if it’s packed against the trunk it can cause unwanted insects to swarm.
At Burma Spice, we’ve found that the best environment for whole mace cultivation is in southeast Asia. That’s why we source from the top growers in that region, bringing you the highest quality product imaginable.