Are the fruit of the nutmeg tree, of which there are three species - Myristica fragrans, Myristica fatua, Myristica malabarica. This tree resembles the pear tree. Its fruit is like a large pear in shape, and is smooth externally. The outer or fleshy part is the pericarp. When ripe it separates lengthwise, and within is the seed or nutmeg enclosed in two coverings; the mace fills up the space between the seed and the pericarp. The true or best nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica fragrans; an inferior kind called the false nutmeg is procured from the other two species. The true nutmeg is round and of an aromatic smell or flavour; the false nutmeg may be distinguished from it by being longer and paler.*
To Select Nutmegs, prick them with a pin. If they are good, the oil will instantly spread around the puncture.
Mace follows, of course, and is either true or false. The good mace is orange yellow, transparent, and horny; the inferior or false is of a dark red colour, and has little flavour or smell. There is a fixed and volatile oil in the nutmeg which, if the seeds are eaten alone and in any quantity, will produce intoxication.