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Why almost always nutmeg in quiche ?

I notice that nutmeg is often included in quiche recipes, no matter what else is included. I'd be reluctant to put enough in to taste over onion/broccoli/ham etc.
Is it meant to complement or bring out the egg or cheese?

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  1. I think it's meant to compliment both the egg and the cheese - nutmeg is often in milky, fatty kinds of food (like bechamel and eggnog). If you don't like it, leave it out. I don't think it will change the recipe appreciably.

    1. Nutmeg can be really amazing in savoury dishes -- I was taught to put it over the ricotta in lasagna, and everybody raves about it.

      1. Nutmeg, for me, is one of those spices where a little goes a long way. Nutmeg just adds another layer of flavor, albeit subtle, to a dish. A dish is fine without it, but a little can add that little something-something to the final results.

        1. If you can, grate it rather than purchase it powdered - there is a vast difference in flavour.

          I, too, use it often in savoury dishes; in fact, more in savoury than sweet.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chefathome

            I never grated it until my SIL was showing me the nutmeg grinder she bought...we put nutmeg in the pancakes that morning *because we could!* and I've never looked back...I always have a jar of nutmeg and a grater to hand because the flavor is that much better.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Totally. There is no comparison (in my mind, anyway). It was a revelation to me the first time I did it years ago!

              1. re: chefathome

                that "oh, THAT'S what it's supposed to taste like!" when the clouds part, the sun shines, and the angels sing.
                :P

            2. re: chefathome

              +1. Microplane spice grater.

            3. I add freshly grated nutmeg to dark green veggies as well. I got the idea from Rachael Ray (I know, I know).

              1 Reply
              1. re: ellaf

                hey, even a busted clock is right twice a day...

              2. Nutmeg in quiche is, I believe, intended to be one of those complimentary spices that remain in the background (one of those, "there's something special in this dish but I can't quite identify it" spices) very much like adding just a touch of cinnamon to lamb stew. I do sometimes use freshly ground nutmeg in quiche but, as a general rule, I just leave it out.