The seed of the nutmeg plant native to the tropics. Very hard, it keeps for a long time. Although ground nutmeg is available, it is best to buy whole nutmeg and finely grate as needed. It has a warm sweet, nutty flavour, widely used in cooking, complementing dairy products well, such as rice pudding. A grating added to béchamel sauce or bread sauce really improves the flavour. It is used in cakes and desserts, and in mulled wine.
Try adding it to savoury dishes too — sprinkle over wilted buttery spinach, roast pumpkin, fresh cooked pasta with hot butter, or welsh rarebit.