Mace is the sister spice of nutmeg. Nutmeg trees are the only plant to give us two spices. (As opposed to a plant like dill which gives us a spice and an herb.) Nutmegs are the actual seeds of the tree while mace is what is known as an airl—the protective coating of the seed. Mace’s flavor and aroma differ slightly from nutmeg as its profile tends to be sharper and less sweet. It still carries distinct flavors of nutmeg, but with subtle notes of pine, black pepper, and coriander-like citrus. The essential oils of mace and nutmeg have different chemical compositions and noticeably different flavors even though they come from the same plant. This is similar to how an orange peel will taste and smell different than the flesh.
- Spices, Herbs and Seasonings