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Kitchen Tip: Nutmeg 101

Nutmeg ranks pretty high on my favorite spice to cook or bake with list. And not ground nutmeg either…there is nothing like freshly grated whole nutmeg, trust me on this. I remember my friend bringing me back a container of whole nutmeg from the Bahamas many years ago and I had absolutely no idea what it was or what to do with it. It wasn’t until I finally incorporated a microplane into my collection of kitchen gadgets did I finally grate my first pinch of nutmeg and learn that it is the ‘wow’ factor in so many dishes.

Our friends at the Daily Meal breaks down the history of nutmeg and how it’s harvested…these days most nutmeg comes from the islands of Indonesia and Grenada in the Caribbean. It’s best stored in a cool, dark place away from any kind of moisture that will affect most likely affect it’s shelf life as well flavor. Once grated, it should be used immediately for full impact of it’s pungent and characteristic spiced aroma.

Nutmeg is most commonly added to baked goods, especially around the holidays. But did you know that it is a perfect complement to savory cream-based recipes as well? If you’ve ever had a really good bechamel sauce or creamy spinach lasagna that you just couldn’t get enough of, you probably experienced the subtle “what is that?” flavor of freshly grated nutmeg.

If you love nutmeg like I do, here are a few recipes from Family Kitchen that you can experiment with to enjoy nutmeg even more:


More from The Daily Meal:

10 Reasons to Eat Slower

The 2011 Gift Guide for Home Cooks

The Key to Tempering Chocolate

 

Photo Credit: Stock.XCHNG/tijmen

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