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Friday, 21 October 2016

Nutmeg

The Myristica fragrans is an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia. Two spices are derived from the fruit of the tree: Nutmeg and Mace.

Nutmeg fruit By Joe Ravi, Wikipedia
Until the mid-19th century, the Banda Islands were the world's only source of nutmeg.

In 1621 Japanese mercenaries hired by the Dutch were landed on Bandaneira Island with the intention of enforcing Dutch monopoly over the Banda’s spice trade. Of the 12,000-15,000 residents all but 1,000 were killed or forced to leave the island as the Dutch created a nutmeg monopoly.

The British used to celebrate Twelfth Night with a drink called Lamb's Wool made from roasted apples, sugar and nutmeg in beer.

Shakespeare gives a recipe for pies in A Winter's Tale including mace, nutmeg, ginger, prunes, raisins and saffron to color it.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

Nutmeg when eaten in large amounts can be hallucinogenic.

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