Nutmeg is a spice from the nutmeg tree, which is native to several Indonesian islands. Both nutmeg and mace come from the same plant. Nutmeg is the ‘nut’, while mace is the surrounding lacy ‘aril’. Nutmeg has a warm, spicy aroma and flavour and can be used in sweet and savoury cooking. It is a component of the classic béchamel sauce and is used to flavour a host of cakes, puddings and custards.
Buy nutmeg whole and grate it as you need it. Avoid using ready-ground nutmeg, which quickly loses its flavour.