Cooking & Baking with Mace: The Vintage Spice You Need to Try
Have you ever used mace in a recipe? No, mace isn’t just a deterrent from assailants. It’s actually a lesser known vintage spice. Mace is closely related to nutmeg and is similar in both aroma and flavor. It is often used in teas and tinctures. And it also makes a great addition to foods and baking recipes. Keep reading to learn more about the vintage spice mace. And to discover food, dessert and drink recipes that call for mace as an ingredient.
Many years back 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.
What is the Spice Mace?
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, mace 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.
What are the Health Benefits?
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.
Where Can I Buy It?
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 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.
Recipes That Call for Mace
Following are just a few of the many recipes I’ve found that can be made with mace.
Baking & Dessert Recipes
- Homemade Mace Cake
- Classic Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
- Spiced Red Wine Strawberry Compôte
- Carrot Cake with Candied Carrots
- Spiced Kumquats
- Apple Oatmeal Bread
- Holiday Apple Wassail Recipe
- Moravian Sugar Coffee Cake
- Dover Sole with Watercress and Crab Butter
- Creamy Corn Empanadas
- Lamb Rogan Josh with Flatbreads
- Seafood Chowder
- Scallops with Black Pudding and Shrimp Butter
- Irish Colcannon (Winter Vegetable Casserole)
- Chicken Kabuli (Murgh Kabuli)
- Moussaka Gratinée
- Grilled Corn with Spiced Tasso Butter
- Kansas City Styled Barbeque Ribs
Spice Mix Recipes
Have you ever cooked with mace? I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are for this wonderful vintage spice!
Also be sure to check out my healthy chili seasoning mix recipe made using organic spices!
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October 12, 2019 at 6:27 pm
Great information on Mace and its health benefits. Never used it before, but looking forward to giving it a try. Thank for sharing.
November 4, 2020 at 8:22 pm
Mace was readily available through the 1990s in most supermarkets, at least. Commonly used in pumpkin pies & other holiday recipes at least through the 1950s-1960s, slowly fading away, albeit still seen sporadically in 1980s recipes. If able to be paired with fresh ground nutmeg, it’s wonderful.
I recently had to buy some for a 1773 apple pie recipe that had some cinnamon custard — a truly delicious recipe.
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