Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nutmeg State. NOT!

Connecticut is known as the nutmeg state, but don't waste your time trying to find locally-grown nutmeg.

According to Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, from the Know Your Ingredient section of his Web site:

The nutmeg tree requires a hot, moist climate and well-drained soil with partial shade. With a history rooted deep into the distant past, Nutmeg had its origin in the Moluccas [Spice Islands].

The British introduced this spice to India at end of the 19th century.

Nutmeg was heavily used in foods in the U. S. Colonial period. Early recipes for such diverse foods as lobster, mussels, chicken, puddings and many desserts included nutmeg as a flavoring. It was so highly prized that it was common for unscrupulous Yankee peddlers (mostly from Connecticut) to carve nutmeg look-alikes, store them with real nutmegs to absorb the scent and then sell them to gullible housewives. This is how Connecticut came to be called the Nutmeg State.

So, the bottom line is that you cannot get Connecticut-grown nutmegs!

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