Mace is the vermillion-colored aril (membranous seed-casing) of a nutmeg seed. This fleshy encasement is harvested from the seed's outer shell by hand. It is delicately and skillfully removed and then flattened, with care being taken not to tear its lacy fibers. It is then dried in one piece. Despite this precious ministering mace is most often used ground.
The taste of mace is lighter and more subtle than its biological companion, nutmeg. Its subtlety still allows for a complexity of flavor notes; and it has been likened to a combination of cinnamon and pepper with hints of citrus. In its ground form it can be found in a variety of spice blends including curry powders, garam masala, and the Moroccan blend ras el hanout. In the US, however, it is probably more commonly associated with fall flavors and pumpkin spice blends.
2 oz (57 g) per 1/2 cup
Although they’re part of the same fruit of the nutmeg tree, mace and nutmeg do not taste well together. They can, however, be substituted for one another.
The defensive spray called Mace is NOT from the nutmeg tree. Mace defensive spray is a form of tear gas used as an irritant, developed and produced by Mace International.