Food - Drink
Most Of The World's Nutmeg Comes From This Country
Nutmeg may not be as popular as chili powder or cinnamon, but this spice is absolutely essential for cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie, creamy coquito drinks, and other cold-weather favorites. Due to its association with fall and winter foods, you may not guess that the country that produces the most nutmeg is far from chilly.
Nutmeg comes from the seed of a tropical evergreen tree called the Myristica, which is native to Indonesia, so naturally, this hot and humid South Asian country produces more nutmeg than any other. In 2020, Indonesia produced a whopping 42,338 tons of nutmeg, closely followed by India, which produced 41,000 tons of the spice.
India also used to be the leading exporter of nutmeg for a few years, starting in 2016, but the country eventually couldn't produce enough to meet local demands, and had to import quite a bit from Indonesia. Today, Indonesia also takes the crown for the largest exporter of nutmeg, exporting 16,558,800 kilograms worldwide in 2019.
Nutmeg works well in both sweet and savory dishes, and before colonizers arrived in Indonesia in 1512, the spice was exclusive to the island country. The spice is made by harvesting hard-shelled nuts from the Myristica tree — which take a long time to grow and ripen — and then grinding the cores of the nuts into nutmeg.