Often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Mace is the dried skin of the Nutmeg fruit.
Nutmeg is actually the dried seed or kernel of the fruit produced by the nutmeg tree. The tree produces a fruit similar to the apricot, which when it ripens, bursts open to reveal the kernel (nutmeg), which is encased in a scarlet coloured membrane. This membrane is actually the spice mace.
The red mace or aril is allowed to dry out upon which it turns an orange colour. The mace is then ready to be used in cooking. It can be sold as a ground powder and can often replace nutmeg, if a sweeter and milder flavour is requiredNutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater.
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