What is Aril, Mace?
Aril is the seed coat of the nutmeg, the Mace. The nutmeg is an evergreen tree that bears fruits similar to apricots all year round. These fruits have a kernel covered by that seed coat, the Aril.
The outer coat of the Nutmeg, the Aril, bears the Latin name Myristica fragrans. Mace seasons many different dishes and has an extraordinary strong but pleasant smell.
The nutmeg tree has a growth height of 5 - 18 meters, from the eight-year on, it bears fruits and gives with approximately fifteen years its largest yield. The average production per tree and year is 100 kg of spices.
Harvest of Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree carries fruits all year round. However, its main harvest time is in June, July, and August. During harvest, all ripe fruits are collected from the ground. Then the harvest helpers remove the peel and pulp. What remains is the nut with the seed coat. Now nuts and seed coats will be separated and dried apart. The seed coat is the mace. The black-brown nut is dried for 6 -8 weeks until it starts to rattle. Only then their hardshell can be broken and open. In the beginning, the nuts are still soft, and they have to dry out until they harden. One tree brings up to 100 kg of nutmeg and mace.
What do you use mace for?
The Aril of nutmeg flavors many different foods, and it has an exceptionally strong but fragrant, incense-like fragrance.
Macis has a resinous, aromatic taste. It is more elegant, with a sweeter taste compared to nutmeg.
North Indian cuisine uses Macis, and nutmeg extensively, among others for stews and yogurt sauces. In Europe, we use these spices for egg preparations, cheese, and potato dishes. For example, Macis refines Dresdner Stollen.
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