NUTMEGS. This popular and well-kn iwn spice is the ker nel of a fruit termed myristica. There are in all nearly forty species, all tropical trees. It is a native of South America, Asia, and Madagascar, but it is from the 111. Fatua we procure the nut megs of commerce. Penang nutmegs are, as a rule, the finest we get, but many desirable parcels come from the West Indies, Jamaica and Trinidad. In purchasing, those are the best quality which are of an oily appearanee and heavy ; light, dried, dull kinds should always be avoided.
A writer on this subject says : "Nutmegs grow on little trees which look like little pear trees, and are not generally over twenty feet high. The flowers are very much like the lily of the valley. They are pale and very fragrant. The nutmeg is the seed of the fruit, and mace is the thin covering over the seed. The fruit is about as large as a peach. When ripe, it breaks open and shows
a little nut inside. The trees grow on the islands of Asia and tropical America. They bear fruit for seventy or eighty years, having ripe fruit upon them all the seasons. A fine tree in Jamaica has over four thousand nutmegs on it every year. The Dutch used to have all this nutmeg trade, as they owned the Banda Islands and conquered all the other traders and destroyed the trees. To keep the price up they once burned three piles of nutmegs, each of which was as big as a church. Nature did not, however, sympathize with such meanness. The nutmeg pigeon, found in all the Indian Islands, did for the world what the Dutch had determined should not be doneŚcarried the nuts, which are their food, into all the surrounding countries, and trees grew again and the world had the benefit.