“In the Banda Islands, ten pounds of nutmeg cost less than one English penny. In London, that same spice sold for more than £2.10s. – a markup of a staggering 60,000 percent. A small sackful was enough to set a man up for life, buying him a gabled dwelling in Holborn and a servant to attend to his needs.” from Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How One Man’s Courage Changed the Course of History.
I like this paragraph from the author, Giles Milton. The book described “Spice Trade in the seventeenth century.” A beautifully told adventure story and “NUTMEG” a fabulous valuable spice in Europe.
Today, the glorious moment of Nutmeg already faded.
Nowadays, Nutmeg is no longer the expensive spice that will make you rich as what we read in Nathaniel’s Nutmeg.
Do you think that Nutmeg will disappear or extinct in the human world? The fact is that we no longer depend on “Nutmeg” nowadays to preserve our food, we have the freezer. In fact, we have created many new technologies to store our food. The powerful medicinal properties of Nutmeg that men would risk their lives to obtain it because it would cure the deadly disease. Nowadays, we have discovered and invented many medicines to replace nutmeg. Nutmeg used to be an essential ingredient in food and beverage industry, nowadays, we created many different chemicals to flavour our food and drinks.
In our daily cooking practice, do you know how many people are really using Nutmeg as their magic spice? In my spice shop, Nutmeg is the slow-moving spice, especially the whole Nutmeg seed. Recently, I noticed that many customers are using it for traditional medicine. Local people usually name it “JAMU”- a herbal medicine from varieties of natural ingredients.
When I started to write about Nutmeg, I remembered one of my old friend who was an importer and exporter of Nutmeg. He traded Nutmegs from Indonesia to EU countries. He got a huge storage place to store Nutmeg, brokering the future price of Nutmeg in the world market price. You may imagine he must be wealthy and cool! INTERESTING! EXCITING! I did feel the same way many years ago. I thought he must be an expert of Nutmeg. He would know every single method or details about How, Where, When or Why that you should use Nutmeg.
The reality, he was a talented “BROKER.”
The future of NUTMEG…