The seed of the fruit of the nutmeg tree. When the fruit is ripe, it splits open and reveals a seed that's covered with what looks like red lace. This fragile, red skin (mace) is removed before the nutmeg is dried. The brown, oval nutmegs are usually about an inch in length and have wrinkled surfaces. When grated, a slightly sweet and spicy aroma is released. Most nutmeg is sold ground, but whole nutmeg is available for grating. In Greek cuisine it is used to flavor meat stews, béchamel and sometimes mashed potatoes.