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?