WHAT IS MACE?
This relatively unknown tropical spice is actually harvested from the same plant as nutmeg. This tree bears fruit with a pit inside. Remove the pit from the flesh and you first see a brightly colored red or yellow and orange webbing. Strip off these organic fishnet stockings from the outside of the nut and you have mace. The rest of the oval shaped pit is the nutmeg. Both are somewhat similar to cloves in their strength and use.
WHY IS MACE GOOD FOR YOU?
It’s a popular home remedy used to treat indigestion. This spice also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which is why it is a popular ingredient in skin ointments as well. Mace is rich in anti-oxidants and magnesium (sleeping aid) as well.
WHEN IS MACE IN SEASON?
The majority of these nuts are harvested when the fruit falls from the tree January through March and / or May through June. Being in a tropical climate, the fruit will continue to drop during the rest of the year (but at much smaller amounts).
HOW SHOULD MACE BE STORED?
When ground this spice tends to lose its flavor at a much faster pace. Store powdered mace in a cool, dark place with no moisture and it can still keep for a year or two. But it’ll gradually lose flavor over time. The better option is to store the whole blades in the same location, and grind the mace as you need it for a fuller flavor.
WHY DOES MACE TASTE SO BITTER??
It doesn’t, unless it’s overcooked. This spice is popular in stews which are known for their tough cuts of meat and therefore long cooking times (to soften it up). Throwing mace into your recipe too soon is a common mistake. Also if whole blades are thrown in, make sure to remove them from your recipe prior to serving.