Malucca Islands in Indonesia. It was once the most carefully guarded spice in the history of spice trading.
It was so greatly valued that the Portuguese-and then the Dutch-limited its cultivation to only two islands in the East Indies, putting to death anyone who might elbow in on the business. Luckily, a non-affiliated group of birds carried the seeds throughout the Islands and beyond, ending the nutmeg monopoly.
Peppery sweet nutmeg is a traditional flavoring for cakes and gingerbread, biscuits and fruit. It is commonly used in milk puddings, and a little grated into cherry or apple pie adds indecipherable spiciness. It is excellent in savory dishes, especially sausages, fish, and seafood.
It is a necessary ingredient in many British-inspired chutneys, and grating just a bit over steamed cauliflower, baked onions or mashed potatoes is a perfect finishing touch.
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