Learn about Nutmeg Grater
With the rise of the British East India Company in the early 1600s spices of all kinds were imported into Britain from the Far East. One of these was nutmeg which as well as being an exotic flavouring for food, was also used for medicinal purposes (it was supposed to cure stomach ailments, headaches and fever), as an incense and as a fumigant.
The Dutch East India company had a monopoly on the import of nutmeg into Europe, and consequently it was a very expensive spice. The monopoly lasted until in 1769, a French horticulturalist smuggled some trees out of the Indonesian Banda islands, and soon after nutmeg trees were growing in Malaysia, Singapore India and the West Indies.
This enabled the monopoly of the Dutch to be broken, and the British East India Trading Company to import nutmeg into Britain. With supplies more plentiful, its use became more popular and from the late 1700s, nutmeg graters were produced for dispensing the nutmeg.
Due to the expense of nutmeg it was only affordable by the very wealthy, and as it had to be freshly ground, they carried a personal supply with them, and from about 1775, a nutmeg grater to dispense it. more...