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Nutmeg: in which dishes will this spice work wonders?

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Cultivated in Indonesia for a thousand years, nutmeg is one of those spices whose aromas will instantly awaken your most treasured fine dining memories. There are countless recipes that will allow nutmeg to express its full potential, and we are not just talking about mashed potato or incredible béchamel sauce!

 

Nutmeg: a legacy spanning the centuries

Nutmeg is native to Indonesia, especially the Banda Islands in the Maluku archipelago. This spice made its appearance in Europe during the Middle Ages after it was brought over from the Indies by Arab traders, who kept its location a secret. It was not until the 15th century that Europeans set off in search of nutmeg. Marketing of the spice was monopolised by the Dutch East India Company until the early 19th century.

What exactly is nutmeg?

From a botanical point of view, nutmeg is the kernel of the fruit produced by the tropical nutmeg tree, which belongs to the Myristicaceae family. Nutmeg seeds are covered with a hard shell, which itself is covered by a fine layer called mace, which is also used in cooking. Once dried, it can be ground, but to experience all the intensity of its rich aromas, it is best to use it freshly grated.

Peugeot’s nutmeg mills are specifically designed to release all the characteristic aromas of this thousand-year-old spice. They are equipped with a powerful claw and a double blade and grater for safe grinding. The lifetime-guaranteed mechanism bears testament to Peugeot’s expertise in showcasing the finest spices, revealing their true fragrance and elevating their flavours to the next level.

Nutmeg in cooking

Nutmeg is a firm favourite among foodies due to its subtle flavours, strong taste and powerful aromatic qualities. As such, it should be used sparingly to enhance dishes without overpowering them. When used at the right dosage, this ancient spice brings a magical touch to some of the most iconic traditional dishes in French cuisine, as well as modern-day recipes that play on contrasting flavours.

  • The classics:

Nutmeg is an inseparable part of some of the signature dishes that have put France’s culinary legacy on the map. Examples include béchamel sauce, which can be found in a wealth of recipes, including cauliflower gratin and chicory with bacon. Nutmeg is also a key ingredient for enhancing a gratin dauphinois, quiche or traditional mashed potato.

  • Daring combinations:

There are countless modern recipes where nutmeg can express its full potential, such as a Maroilles cheese tart or a ricotta quiche with cress.

With its warm and subtly spicy aromas, nutmeg is a match made in heaven with squash. Not surprisingly, it can be found in the recipe for pumpkin soufflé, as well as squash ravioli with sage butter and butternut & sweet potato gratin.

Seafood enthusiasts will succumb to the delicious originality and comforting taste of monkfish with nutmeg and onions.

  • Nutmeg for desserts:

Nutmeg is one of the archetypal Christmas spices, meaning that it can be found in gingerbread, eggnog and mulled wine. It will also enhance the intensity of cocoa in a dark chocolate mousse.

Foodies with a sweet tooth will be in seventh heaven with a tarte tatin with spices and honey-roasted peaches, enhanced with the warm and swirling aromas of nutmeg.

When it comes to international dishes, nutmeg will elevate the flavours of fruit cake, banana bread and carrot cake.