Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a spice consisting of the seeds of the Myristica fragrans, a tropical, dioecious ever green tree .Temperature 22 0c to 320c is the better climate, the better elevation is up to 1000meter from sea level. Nutmeg has a distinctive, pungent fragrance and a warm, slightly sweet taste; it is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, confectionaries, puddings, meats, sausages, sauces, vegetables, and such beverages as eggnog. Nutmeg and mace contain 7 to 14 percent essential oil, the principal components of which are pinene, camphene,and dipentene. The cover of the nutmeg is used to prepare pickles.

Propagation through seedlings, budding, layering and grafting give better result in production. There are two types of plant male and female but seeds produced by only female. Water is essential for entire life. The trees may reach a height of about 65 feet (20 metres). It will flower 4 to 5 years after the plantation, reach their prime in 25 years, and bear fruit for 60 years or longer. The nutmeg fruit is a pendulous drupe, similar in appearance to an apricot. For maturity 7 to 8 months ,takes the seeds to harvest. When fully mature it splits in two, exposing a crimson-coloured aril, the mace, surrounding a single shiny, brown seed, the nutmeg. The pulp of the fruit is eaten locally. After collection, the aril-enveloped nutmegs are conveyed to curing areas where the mace is removed, flattened out, and dried. The nutmegs are dried gradually in the sun and turned twice daily over a period of six to eight weeks. During this time the nutmeg shrinks away from its hard seed coat until the kernels rattle in their shells when shaken. The shell is then broken with a wooden truncheon and the nutmegs are picked out. Dried nutmegs are grayish-brown ovals with furrowed surfaces. Large ones may be about 1 1/4 inches (30 millimeter) long and 3/4 inch in diameter

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