Whole Nutmeg

This large, mahogany-colored evergreen seed, which comes off the tree covered in a shell similar to a walnut, might look a little unfamiliar at first. But it stays fresh practically forever, and like so many new things, it comes with a fascinating backstory—originally from Indonesia’s Banda Islands, nutmeg became highly valued by medieval Europeans as both a medicine and highly flavorful ingredient, which eventually led to global exportation of whole trees by colonial powers. Grated, the hard seed releases the fragrant, spicy scent and flavor that’s a cornerstone of everything from pumpkin pie to mulled wine.