Nutmeg: a rich history of delicious spices

What is nutmeg?

First of all, we know what this nutmeg is? So this nutmeg comes from the seeds of the Myristica Franganus tree. Which is a long-standing species of the Banda Islands that are part of the Moluccus or Spice Islands of Indonesia. The inner kernel of nutmeg seeds is placed on the ground in nutmeg, while the aril (outer lacey cover) emerges from the anus.
Nutmeg has long been valued not only as a flavor of food but also for its medicinal properties. In fact when nutmeg is taken in large quantities, nutmeg is a leucocinogen caused by a psychoactive chemical called myristicin. Which is related to mescaline and amphetamine. People have known about the interesting effects of nutmeg for centuries. The 12th century Ebens Hildegard of Bingen wrote about it.


Nutmeg on Indian Ocean Trade

Nutmeg is known in countries bordering the Indian Ocean. It is used in Indian cooking and traditional Asian medicine. Commercial ships and camel caravans could easily carry nutmeg, as nutmeg, like other spices, was lighter in weight than pottery, gemstones, or even silk cloth.
For the residents of Banda Island, where nutmeg trees grew, the trade routes of the Indian Ocean ensured a stable occupation. Which made him comfortable life. Because it was the Arab and Indian traders who got a lot of money from selling spices around the rim of the Indian Ocean.


Nutmeg in the Middle Ages of Europe

As stated, according to the Middle Ages, the wealthy people of Europe knew about nutmeg. Known its medicinal properties. Nutmeg was considered "hot food" according to the principle of humor derived from the ancient Unani system of medicine. Which at that time also helped European physicians. It balances cold foods like fish and vegetables.
Europeans believed that nutmeg had the power to remove the virus like the common cold. They also thought that it could stop the bubonic plague. Consequently, at that time this spice was worth more than its weight in gold. Yes, even though they considered nutmeg to be valuable, the people of Europe had no clear idea of ​​where it came from. It entered Europe through the port of Venice, where Arab traders carried it. He described it as being inundated with the Indian Ocean in the Arabian Peninsula and the Mediterranean world. But the final source remained a mystery.

Portugal seizes Spice Islands

In 1511 a Portuguese army under Afonso de Albuquerque seized the island of Molucca. Early next year, the Portuguese drew knowledge from the locals that Banda Island is a source of nutmeg and mace. And three Portuguese ships seek out these imaginary Spice Islands.
The Portuguese did not have the manpower to physically control the islands. But they were able to break Arab's monopoly on the spice trade. Portuguese ships bought nutmeg, mace and cloves all from local producers at reasonable prices.
In the following century, Portugal tried to build a fort on the main Bandanaïra island, but was closed by the captives. In the end, the Portuguese bought their spices only from middlemen in Malacca.

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