The Richness of Papuan Spices, Papuan Nutmeg can be Main Dishes and Desserts – Papua has abundant natural wealth. One of them is nutmeg including in the spice category. The aroma and taste of nutmeg can make the taste of food to be more delicious, viscous, and warming the body.

Inobu Foundation’s Sustainable Sourcing Manager, Ofra Shinta Fitri said, Indonesia has at least five species of nutmeg with different characteristics. In Papua, nutmeg species are found in Fakfak, West Papua, and grow in sustainable nutmeg forest areas

The part of nutmeg that has high economic value is in the form of seeds and mace that have been dried. The flesh of nutmeg is generally used as wet and dry sweets, candies, jams, and syrups. “However, the volume of utilization of nutmeg flesh is still very small,” she said.

Masterchef Indonesia’s cooking talent search participants, Wita Wulandari and Aziz Amri explained how they created Papuan nutmeg and took advantage of its unique characteristics. Here’s Wita and Aziz’s review of the Papuan nutmeg spice:

The part of the nutmeg mostly used for cooking is the nutmeg seed. Apparently, the seeds are not the only part of the nutmeg that can be used in cooking. The leaves can also be used. Aziz, who likes to experiment, is curious about fresh nutmeg leaves.

He rubbed the leaf into his hands. “I wonder, what kind of scent comes out. Is it intense like sap, or has a distinctive aroma like the seeds?” Aziz said. “Apparently there is a good smell, but also a bad smell.”

Aziz then put some fresh nutmeg leaves into the dish. Not only using nutmeg seeds and leaves, Aziz also uses mace, a part that wraps the nutmeg seed which is bright red and shaped like a net.

Fuli has a more intense taste. This material is also used for pepper spray which is usually sprayed into the eyes of criminals. Aziz knows mace when cooking Indian food. This participant of Masterchef Indonesia 7 who has lived in India said that Indian people are used to using mace.

Wita Wulandari said, many Indonesian dishes have a much tastier taste if they use Papuan nutmeg seeds. For example, beef stew, oxtail soup, rib soup, and even cakes.

Wita explained, nutmeg has a different character from pepper. Both give their aroma, warmth, and distinct taste in cooking. Nutmeg makes the food taste more viscous and the aroma is strong.

Aziz observes that Padang cuisine also often uses nutmeg seeds, especially in dishes made from meat and fish. Nutmeg is one of the indispensable spices, because it can remove the smell of meat. However, as stated by him, the nutmeg seeds need to be mixed with other spices, such as coriander and cumin.

According to Wita, Papuan nutmeg seeds can also be added in various sweet food recipes, especially in the cuisine of other countries. If you want to use it for Indonesian recipes, he said, Papuan nutmeg seeds can be used in making cakes, such as banana cake.

In accord with Wita, Aziz said that he often found the taste of nutmeg in sweet foods from other countries. Among them are apple pie, Armenian cake, and pumpkin spice which tastes very similar to apple pie.

Wita uses nutmeg to make Es Cendol. The Cendol is made from a mixture of gelatin and Papuan nutmeg juice that has been mashed, mixed with tapioca flour and rice flour.

“So, the flesh of the fruit is not cut into pieces like jackfruit in Cendol in general, but I mix it into the Cendol mixture,” said Wita. The Cendol grains have a sweet and sour taste, not bland or savory like ordinary Cendol. “It’s a really good drink for the people of Fakfak. Since ancient times, the people of Fakfak have used nutmeg as a substitute for oranges. “The sour taste of the Papuan nutmeg flesh is a bit like oranges,” said Aziz. The difference is, the citrus acid tastes fresh, while the sour taste of nutmeg has a warm and spicy taste.

Aziz said that using Papuan nutmeg pulp as a substitute for oranges was a very brilliant idea.

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