Mace is a spice, having yellowish-brown color. It is available in two forms; ground and whole mace also called “blades of mace.” It is the bright red-colored outer covering of nutmeg seed, and its color changes from red to yellowish-brown when dried. Mace has a strong aroma and rich flavor, so it is needed in low quantities in cuisines.
Like other spices, mace has a pretty long shelf life, and they don’t go bad that quickly, but if they are not stored properly, then there are possible chances that it can go bad.
How To Store Mace
Mace has its unique flavor, which should be retained in its natural form. To do that, it should be kept a dry, cool, and dark place, and such place is either your kitchen’s pantry or simple spice cupboard.
One thing that is worthy enough to mention here is that the jar or paper bag you keep mace should be sealed just right after you use it because leaving it open for long can make it stale and less flavorful.
Mace can be stored using the following methods, which can help retain its strong aroma and rich flavor.
Storing It In An Airtight Jar
Whether it is mace or any other spice, they should be kept in an airtight jar to avoid exposure to moisture, as it accelerates the process of molding in mace.
Avoid Grating Over Hot Pot
If you want to grate the whole mace and think of doing it directly over your hot pot or steaming food, it’s not a good idea because doing so can expose it to heat which can cause early spoilage in mace. So it’s better to grate it in a different bowl or plate and then sprinkle it on your food.
Away From Moisture And High Temperatures
Mace is a spice with a long shelf life if stored properly, like keeping it away from any source of heat can help retain its life span. Similarly, if mace is kept in a rack that is close to the sink, it can expose it to moisture, and there are increased chances of spoilage in mace.
Normally mace remains fresh at room temperature, but putting it into a refrigerator can increase shelf life. Moreover, it is advised that if you bought the whole mace, then you can put it into an airtight jar then refrigerate it, but if you got grounded mace, then it is not better to refrigerate it. Rather you should keep it at room temperature in a well-dried atmosphere as in a refrigerator; grounded mace can absorb moisture because of its larger surface area.
Can You Freeze Mace
Usually, a freezing environment is too humid for spices, but you can freeze it to increase its life span in the whole mace. Because of its large surface area, Grounded mace can be vulnerable to absorbing moisture from the freezer’s humid environment. Hence it is more likely to mold.
Now for freezing the whole mace, you can put it into an airtight jar or freezer bag and place it into the freezer; thus, the whole mace can remain fresh and fragrant for 4-5 years. Also, it will give the same rich taste to your cuisines as it is fresh.
How Long Does Mace Last
Mace’s life span is dependent on its form. If you got the whole mace, then it can last up to 4 years, while in the case of ground mace, it can also last for two years at room temperature and if proper storage precautions are followed.
Grounded mace is readily available in market places and has a good life span, but if you are the one who wants to store spices for a long period, then the whole mace is for you because it remains rich in flavor and retains its strong aroma throughout the years.
Mace has its expiration dates mentioned at the back of their packs, but the whole mace gives the best flavor even if it approaches its expiration date; if mace is carefully stored, you can have the best results for longer periods.
How To Tell If Mace Goes Bad
Mace or any other spices usually lasts for years and can remain rich in flavor if kept with care, but it is not carefully handled, then eventually they become stale and less fragrant.
- Sniff test: To check the potency of mace, we can make use of sniff test, first crush some of the maces in between your fingers then smell it; if it has a strong aroma and you can smell it in the first place, then it is still fresh and can be used easily. But if you cannot smell it in the first place, then this is the sign that it has gone stale, and you can no longer use it.
- Texture: It is not hard to tell whether mace has gone bad or not because very prominent changes occur in their texture.