The Torrid Tale of Nutmeg

Prized in holiday baking and enjoyed particularly by culinary gurus when ground freshly over the latest dish to pass through their hands, nutmeg seems to be front and center in celebrations and occasions of great joy. But it has not always been the case. Nutmeg has a long and complex history and just a bit of it has been shared in both written form and radio spot over at NPR. Everything from an amusing event in international trade involving the Dutch trading the island of Manhattan for nutmeg and sugar from the Brits to the little brown seed's popularity in the 1600s as the must-have item among the rich and famous. Move over iPhone, nutmeg's got you in its sights!

Given the ubiquity of the spice in holiday dishes, now seems the perfect time to give the history and use of nutmeg a more rounded story and consider both the wonderful and not-so-wonderful aspects of its history and use. Just when you figured it was just that nice spice you add to pumpkin pie, the culinary world reminds you that it holds more mystery and intrigue than you might expect! Happy Monday.

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