Cooking and Baking with Mace – The Vintage Spice You’ve Never Tried But Should

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Recently I read what I thought to be a rather interesting article on Etsy’s blog titled The Historic Spice Cupboard. It contained some really neat information on vintage spices – rather the spices our great and great great grandparents probably used – in cooking and baking. Some of the spices are still used today, while others are a lot less common. For example, mace, is not a spice I had ever heard of.
Cooking with spices - Mace(Photo Source: theKitchn)

I’ve always thought of mace as pepper spray so I was a little confused at first. But as it turns out, mace is a very close relative of nutmeg. Mace is actually the red membrane that surrounds the nutmeg seed. It’s very similar to the taste of nutmeg, but rather has a more red pepper reminiscent heat. It was very common in the 18th and 19th centuries, but has since fallen by the way side. Like nutmeg, it can be used in baking. However it is also served well in savory dishes for flavoring meats, stews, curries, savory sauces, and even homemade pickles. You can also use it in teas, tinctures and beverages.

Additionally, it’s believed that mace has an antioxidant effect in the liver, helping it conserve glutathione and increasing protection against free radicals. theKitchn has additional information on this amazing vintage spice. You can also find out more information on mace from Mountain Rose Herbs including both contemporary and folklore info.

If you want to try mace, be sure to buy it from a reputable source that guarantees that the powder is not made from previously BWP (broken-wormy-punky) nuts. It’s also better not to use an irradiated product which breaks down the fatty acids that contain the essential oils that give it aroma and flavor. Mountain Rose Herbs is great place to buy both whole and ground organic mace. In fact, I have it on my next shopping list of things to buy from them since it’s so versatile and can be used in so many different types of recipes. I’ve also found it to be a common ingredient in many Indian dishes.

Following are just a few of the many recipes I’ve found that can be made with mace:

Have you ever cooked with mace?


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Homemade Strawberry Mint Wine Cooler Recipe

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Recently I found myself with some very ripe fruit on hand. So I decided to use it to make a refreshing and tasty summertime drink! What I came up with was my own strawberry mint wine coolers! Here’s how you can make your own!
Ingredients:
1lb. ripe strawberry with stems and leaves removed, sliced in half or thirds
2-3 cutie tangerines or 1 small regular tangerine, peeled and any seeds removed
A handful of fresh peppermint, crushed or torn in half
1 bottle of sweet white table wine, I used Château Morrisett’s Sweet Mountain Laurel (from a local winery)

Directions:
Combine the strawberries, tangerine slices, crushed mint and wine into a pitcher with a lid. Place in the fridge and chill until cold or overnight. Then serve over ice if you choose with one or several strawberries and a fresh mint leaf. (I also like to eat the fruit afterward.)

I also have some super ripe cherries I bought recently on our local Roanoke Farmer’s Market. For my next batch I want to try a bottle of sweet white wine with ripe cherries and some fresh chocolate mint I bought from Rolling Meadows Farms and planted in my garden. If I’m able to pick the mulberries on the tree in the backyard before they all fall onto the ground, I think they’d also make a fun addition.

I also want to try this recipe with just a little ice and blended all together in a blender. What are some of your favorite drink recipes you’ve tried to use up ingredients around your house?


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