The hard brown seed from the nutmeg tree (a tropical evergreen) has a warm, spicy sweet flavor. The nut is dried for up to 2 months until the inner nut rattles inside the shell. It is then shelled to reveal valuable egg-shaped nutmeat which is the edible nutmeg. Second-rate nuts are pressed for the oil, which is used in perfumes and in the food industry.
Mace is the dried lacy membrane from around the nutmeg seed. The nutmeg tree is indigenous to the Banda Islands of Indonesia but is also grown in the Caribbean, and south and south east part os asia.. The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7-9 years after planting, and the trees reach their full potential after 20 years.
At one time, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices. It has been said that in England, several hundred years ago, a few nutmeg nuts could be sold for enough money to enable financial independence for life.
The Sri Lankan nutmeg harvest begins in April and will continue through the entire year depending on the crop size.