We previously explored the stages of life of Nutmeg and Mace, and now we’re here again with more information on the exotic spice. This time, we’re looking at how much variance there is in the crop, and the different types of Nutmeg.
First, the Regency Grade Nutmeg from Kerela, India that we’re proud to sell.
This Nutmeg is Jumbo sized, slightly shrivelled on the outside, and part of the 1st selection that goes on with Nutmeg crop. Nutmeg goes through several selections throughout the season, as farmers unload more crop onto the market. Of these, the 1st selection is always the better goods yielding more flavour and aroma. Nutmeg, properly stored, can actually last over 3 years! But due to it’s nature, it’s prone to insect infestation more than almost any spice besides chillies and coriander seeds.
Above is an example of nutmeg (still in shell) that’s been ravaged by insects. This didn’t happen during transport, this nutmeg is in fact selected and sold as a separate grade, for use in powdering where the holes don’t matter, after the insects inside are cleaned out.
Nutmeg also comes in various sizes, far from uniform. Some are not even round!
These are smaller nutmegs, often part of a second selection, and also often from different parts of the world. The above nutmeg is from Indonesia, one of the world’s largest producers of nutmeg. It’s much smaller and slimmer than our Jumbo grade, and will be smaller still once the mace and shell are removed. Flavour wise it is also weaker from our own taste tests.
We also get super shrivelled nutmegs, these look terrible, but taste wise are not bad at all, almost on par with our Jumbo grade. However we still prefer the jumbo as it looks beautiful, and there is a small final bit of taste benefit. Price wise in the export market it also sells for much higher per metric ton today. These are just some of the kinds of nutmeg in the world. Each with their own appearance, taste and aroma profiles. Hope they offered some more insight into how unique spices are, and why we strongly prefer buying whole whenever possible! Otherwise you really don’t know what’s gone on in the powder.