Until just a few centuries ago, all the world’s nutmeg grew on just a few tiny islands in Indonesia. European colonial powers fought bitterly over control of these islands, as nutmeg was highly valued for its flavor, preservative qualities, and alleged ability to cure plague. The Dutch held a monopoly on nutmeg production for many years, but when it was broken nutmeg trees spread to the West Indies and beyond; this fresh, high-oil ground nutmeg comes from Indonesia. Nutmeg is used in sweet baking, especially in pumpkin pie and spice cakes, and it’s also a common ingredient in Northern European sausage and stew recipes. In the South, a pinch of nutmeg is crucial to macaroni and cheese and stewed greens. Indonesian and Japanese curries frequently use nutmeg for a subtle sweetness, and Caribbean cooking adds nutmeg to greens, oxtail stew, and as a garnish for several rum-based drinks.