Nutmeg is a large seed, which is oval in shape and has a bumpy hard surface. Nutmeg is used as a spice, to flavour both sweet and savoury meals. It is a popular ingredient, used in many worldwide cuisines including, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean and some areas of Europe.
Nutmeg has a warming, sweet yet peppery taste. Its aroma is quite strongly perfumed and is similar in flavour to cinnamon and cloves. A little nutmeg goes a long way in any meal.
Nutmeg is always used ground or grated. In the UK, nutmeg has a strong association with winter comforts and Christmas time. Mulled wine, brandy snaps, ginger biscuits, eggnog and warm custard are traditionally seasoned with nutmeg and similar spices.
Parts of Europe such as Holland and Germany add nutmeg to savoury dishes along with other seasonings to vegetables like cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, sweed and potato. Sometimes Portuguese, Greek and Turkish dishes have nutmeg added to their meats and vegetables. In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in sweet dishes such as rice puddings, as well as the popular spice blend garam masala, used to make Biriyani, Korma and other similar meals.