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Article: Nutmeg: Exotic, Intoxicating Myrstica: Spice Tree

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Forum: Article: Nutmeg: Exotic, Intoxicating MyrsticaReplies: 28, Views: 160
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jadajoy
Newport News, VA
(Zone 11)

December 8, 2009
5:25 AM

Post #7347641

Wow! I had no clue nutmeg grew on trees. And found it amazing that two spices come from it. Toxic? Now I will be thinking of this when I'm indulging in my eggnog :-)

Loved the photo of the little hands!!

Joyce
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
5:39 AM

Post #7347665

Hi Joyce...didn't realize it was midnight over your way.

Well, it does have one component that is possibly toxic, but not enough to worry about. I think this is the statement you are referring to...

"Myristicin is the constiuent most responsible for its toxicity and hallucinogenic action, and safrole in isolation and in high doses is carcinogenic."

You would have to really indulge before it created a problem. So just go ahead and enjoy your eggnog...think I will, too.

It's always great to hear from you. And I'm glad you liked the photo!
Thanks, and Merry Christmas!
Sharon
jadajoy
Newport News, VA
(Zone 11)

December 8, 2009
5:46 AM

Post #7347675

Now that I think about it, I once saw a movie about some men in prison who used nutmeg from the kitchen as a...well...tonic :-) It soothed their nerves.

Oh, believe me, I will enjoy my eggnog irregardless, ha.

Another great article, thanks Sharon!

Happy Holidays to you too!

Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
5:51 AM

Post #7347682

Ummmm...yes, tonics sometimes do that...

Thank you!
roseone33
Southern Mountains, GA
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
11:48 AM

Post #7347921

Another wonderful story! Thank you.
DEMinPA
Selinsgrove, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2009
11:56 AM

Post #7347930


Great info. Two spices on one tree. I like nutmeg. Another interesting article. Thanks.

Don
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

December 8, 2009
12:52 PM

Post #7348014

What an informative article, Sharon! I knew nutmeg grew on trees, but didn't know about the mace derivative origin. I always learn something from you, Oh, Wise One! I usually sprinkle a little nutmeg into my cream of broccoli soup, too. It lends a very delicate mystical touch, something that makes you go, "What is that?"

Angie
DonShirer
Westbrook, CT
(Zone 6a)

December 8, 2009
12:52 PM

Post #7348015

Evidently one reason Connecticut was known as the "Nutmeg State" is that some sharp New England colonial traders passed off grated wood as nutmeg. Nowadays they prefer to be called the "Constitution State".

jjacques

jjacques
LE TAMPON
Reunion (French)

December 8, 2009
2:02 PM

Post #7348162

Good article! I had the chance to see a nutmeg tree once, it is quite rare here (Reunion island) and from a distance it looked to me like it was bearing apricots! This is because the nutmeg is no more than the seed, the fruit itself is about the size of a tennis ball and orange, I add a pic which does show it though not fully.

Thumbnail by jjacques
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
2:05 PM

Post #7348171

Another fascinating article, Sharon. For some unknown reason, I always thought that it was made from the grated bark of some tree. I was really surprised to find that it was from the seed of the fruit. Learn something new every day! I love it too, Sharon and the smell is one that I really love. Since I don't do a lot of cooking any longer, I love to use simmering spices to fill my home with Christmas smells and nutmeg is high on my list for having to be in those spices. Hum...gotta go mix up some spices and set them on the stove to simmer. That always makes me hungry and then I have to find something to eat that will taste as good as that brew smells. It is a never ending circle but a circle I love.

This message was edited Dec 8, 2009 8:06 AM
NanuBunny
Poquoson, VA
(Zone 8a)

December 8, 2009
2:56 PM

Post #7348311

Two of my favorite spices, Sharon! Fresh grated nutmeg is wonderful with Tom's killer eggnog. (He got the recipe back in the 50's from an Air Force bartender, and it is soooo smooth!) Takes two days to make properly. If there's any left over, we put it in the ice cream freezer. Absolutely delightful article, as usual. I so look forward to Tuesdays on Dave's Garden because I know there will be one of your wonderful offerings to enjoy! I can check in from work and have a "little vacation".

Love,

Bonnie
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
3:36 PM

Post #7348427

Roseone...thank you, nice to hear from you again.

DEM...thanks, I had no idea I would find the mace source when I started writing about nutmeg! Surprised me as well.

Angie, nutmeg finds its way into a lot of my cooking as well...thanks.

Don...I didn't know that about Connecticut, grated wood, huh? Innovative, I guess. Thanks.

JJ...that's a great photo, I wondered if it grew on your island. And now that you compare it to an apricot, it gives me a better mental picture than I originally had of it. It's hard for me to write about something I've never seen. Thanks.

Elena, I do the very same thing, simmer spices for the scent. It really adds to the feeling of Christmas, doesn't it? I hope by now your house smells great!

Bonnie...glad I provide you with a little vacation...but WOW, I might need to sample Tom's killer eggnog, or even its leftovers. It sounds delicious. Thanks.

It's so good to hear from all of you, I hope you enjoy the holiday season. Thanks for reading the article.

Merry Christmas,
Sharon
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

December 8, 2009
3:56 PM

Post #7348482

Thanks for another great article Shar. I too thought nutmeg came from bark like cinnamon. How amazing that one tree gives us two luvly spices!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
4:02 PM

Post #7348496

Good morning, Dahlia...
It is an interesting spice...(er...spices). Good to hear from you.
Stay warm up there!
Thanks for reading the article.
Sharon
imapigeon
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2009
4:59 PM

Post #7348654

Nutmeg and mace are my 2 favorites as well, Sharon---love both the taste and the smell. And you've educated me about a plant's medicinal properties yet again. Happy sniffing!!

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

December 8, 2009
5:08 PM

Post #7348687

Sharon, thank you for reminding me about this spice! I had some nutmegs left from my mom in my kitchen for many years and I didn't use it because I didn't know what to do with it. It seemed obvious that she might have been using those sometimes , but I never asked her what was it for. I think I threw those nutmegs away, but later I found out they are used for spicing the potatoes, squash, chicken, beef and some cakes.
Great article and story!
Adina
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
5:29 PM

Post #7348770

Happy sniffing, Imapigeon...thanks, just put simmering spices on the stove...they aren't simmering yet, but soon! Thank you.

Adina...oh no, you threw them away! Sad. Think of all the things that missed that great flavor.

Thank you, ladies...great to hear from both of you.
Merry Christmas,
Sharon

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

December 8, 2009
8:39 PM

Post #7349393

Sharon, surprise! I didn't throw them away!!!! But I thought I did...and when I got home from work tonight and opened your post, I went right where I knew they were and here they are, inside their small glass pot. I have several with different spices, but the other ones get empty more often. This one has been like you can see since I got married...go figure!LOL It still has the name my mom wrote on the label : NUCSOARA.

Thumbnail by adinamiti
Click the image for an enlarged view.

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

December 8, 2009
8:41 PM

Post #7349399

And this is my little treasure! Thanks to you I found it!

Thumbnail by adinamiti
Click the image for an enlarged view.

leaflady
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

December 8, 2009
11:32 PM

Post #7349934

Another wonderful and informative article, Sharron. Thank you so much for doing the research and sharing your memories.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2009
11:55 PM

Post #7350008

Great for you, Adina! I hope you can make use of all of them. Thanks for the pictures. You'll have to show me when you grate them.

Hi Leaflady, thank you for reading the article! Did y'all get all this rain today? It got up to about 50, but it absolutely poured all day long. I thought I was going to float away.

Thanks again for your comments. Fun to write when I have such a great audience.

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

December 9, 2009
10:07 AM

Post #7351152

Sharon, I already grated one on some baked potatoes I made last night and they were great, the spice was amazing...you were right! Only mine are very small and it's abit hard to grate them.
Hugs,
Adina
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 9, 2009
3:21 PM

Post #7351734

Hi Adina...
You know, in all my years of playing around with flavors, I have never added nutmeg to baked potatoes. Maybe I should try that too.

I am in the middle of a windstorm that is supposed to last all day...eeeeek!! Strong winds are not my favorite! It huffed and puffed all night long.

Hope your day is good. (or is it night over there?)

adinamiti

adinamiti
Balotesti
Romania

December 9, 2009
3:31 PM

Post #7351772

Hi, Sharon,
I hope you are OK and the storm goes away soon. It's almost 6 p.m. now and dark. We're just about to eat a late lunch.
Hugs,
Adina
gacornhusker
Snellville, GA

December 14, 2009
4:13 PM

Post #7367701

Where does the nutmeg tree grow-what zone-and where are they available for sale? The story behind them was fascinating as are most of the articles you write.
I love nutmeg in cookies & 'nog but have never used mace or even seen a receipe that called for it.
Janet
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 14, 2009
4:29 PM

Post #7367734

Hi Janet,
They mostly grow in Indonesia, where the climate maintains about 80* year round, I think. There is a California nutmeg that grows, well, it grows in California and like zones. I'm not sure of its botanical name or exactly what it produces. I think they all have to have consistent heat and humidity.

I do know it wouldn't survive in Kentucky, not sure about Georgia, but I doubt it.

Nice hearing from you. Thanks.
Sharon

jjacques

jjacques
LE TAMPON
Reunion (French)

December 15, 2009
2:14 PM

Post #7370645

This trees has very tropical requirements and is very slow growing, it will take 6 to 8 years to produce from seeds, full production will be at 20 years old and the tree will keep bearing fruits for 50 to 60 years.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

December 15, 2009
3:03 PM

Post #7370755

Thank you, JJ.
I appreciate the help.

jjacques

jjacques
LE TAMPON
Reunion (French)

December 15, 2009
3:18 PM

Post #7370789

It is my pleasure

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