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Mace is the lacy coating that is found on a nutmeg seed. The lacy aril, which is red, is removed by hand from the outer shell of the nutmeg and then dried, becoming a yellowish-brown mace.
Mace is sold in whole pieces called blades or in the more commonly-found ground form. The color can often help you determine the origin of mace. Orange-yellow blades most likely come from Grenada, where it is the national symbol and proudly emblazoned on the country's red, yellow, and green flag, while orange-red blades tend to be from Indonesia.
Mace has a flavor described as a combination of cinnamon and pepper, a more pungent version of nutmeg. It is used in baked goods, particularly donuts, cakes, puddings, custards and desserts, but also in cheese dishes, soufflé, sauces, soups, poultry, and fish. It especially complements dishes with cherries or chocolate.