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  1. #1

    Default Nutmeg - whole or powdered?

    I used to buy all my nutmeg in regular old boring powdered form.... then Alton Browns insistence that it was so much better to buy it in little nuts then microplane off what you need finally got to me. Our local store carries them in the *hispanic spices* section - where everything comes in little cellophane bags instead of expensive glass jars.
    Unlike Alton Brown's, my little grater / microplaner doesnt do squat to the hard little nuts. The meat tenderizer, though, makes short work of it, although the fragments can be a bit inconsistent and woody! Ill just say the whole downstairs knows if nutmeg is involved in a recipe.
    Alton promised once I used *real* nutmeg Id never go back, but Im feeling a bit inept.

    Do other people just buy the powder? Am I missing a step in the home-grating process? (Am I supposed to soak or peel the nuts first?) Do I just need a better micro grater?
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived ejsmom's Avatar
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    Nov 2011


    I buy the whole nut, and I have a teeny little container/grater that I store them in, grate them on. But - we cook and bake almost everything from scratch all the time. I do feel there is a big flavor difference. Here is what I use:

    That being said, I am not really an Alton Brown fan. I think he has a tendency to make things far more complicated than need be. The episode where he had out the ironing board for making pasta and the silly acting skits just lost me after awhile. I really do appreciate that he teaches the science behind good cooking, because there is usually a reason why things turn out well (or not) and when you learn that it can make one's cooking easier and better. OTOH, experimentation is the fun of cooking. DH is a HUGE Alton Brown fan. But he doesn't cook much and mainly grills. I prefer Cook's Illustrated magazine and the TV show that went with it. Same idea, but acknowledges that home cooking is usually done as a necessity to feed people, and not always a foodie hobby, and they try to make things quick and simple when possible.

    HTH and happy grating!
    homeschooling one DS, age 13.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    I vote for whole nutmeg too. I use something similar to this No problems.
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  5. #4


    I have a nutmeg grater that is a simple piece of punched metal, very 3rd world came with a few chunks of real mace-covered nutmeg that a friend brought back from the Caribbean. It works great but yeah chunks. Oh well.

    We do both powdered and whole. It depends on the dish. Finishing some pasta, put on eggnog it's grated. Something baked isn't worth the grating, so it's ground.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  6. #5


    Yay, Im re-inspired to give the whole nuts another go.

    Ive been thinking about a new peel-grater for lemon and orange, so I am going to go with the more multi-tasking implement. Until that arrives, there is my meat tenderizer mallet. Pumpkin loaves stand no chance.

    Thanks, all!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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Nutmeg - whole or powdered?