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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Nutmeg and Mace

And the winner is Mr Anonymous( please dont be shy) ....who said Mace.. which is half the answer of course and the other half is Nutmeg. The picture you saw was of the drupe. It is not a fruit and it is not a nut - it is a drupe and all its parts are used. In some parts of the world they make jam or chrystallized candy out of the fleshy part and then you have the intense red veining called the aril which is dried to make mace which if also a spice like nutmeg but less pungent, a gentler version if you like.
Under the aril is the dark shiny nut- like pip and inside that is an oval shaped seed, which is the actual nutmeg, with very pronounced veining - the inner kind, which you see if you grate one.
They are such beautiful spices and they have been around since the 16th century. They are native to the Mollocus Islands also known as the "Spice islands" and Grenada where the nutmeg tree grew very well became known as the Nutmeg Island and it is even on their flag.
It is said that 16th Century monks used to tell young men to annoint their genitals with nutmeg oil to assure their virility and the other story I found which is such fun is that if you tucked a nutmeg under your left armpit before a social event it was believed to attract admirers.

Now that I know I am not attending any more social functions without my nutmeg tucked away for that extra protection and attention !

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