This is one of my favorite spices to use fresh. Supposedly Columbus was actually looking for this spice in the east indies when he sailed from Spain. This seed comes from the nutmeg tree and was extremely popular in the 15th to the 19th century. the hard, egg-shaped nutmeg seed is grayish brown and about 1 inch long. The flavor and aroma are delicately warm, spicy and sweet. It is sold ground and whole but I say purchase it whole and use a grinder as pictured or a micro-plane zester for freshly ground – it makes a big difference. It is excellent when used in baked goods, milk or cream based sauces and custards. It’s also complimentary to many vegetables like spinach, squash and potatoes! Once you use it whole, you’ll never buy the jar of ground nutmeg again.