Dried mace pieces are not easy to crush. Ready-ground mace is easier to use, but will deteriorate much more quickly.
In its natural state, mace is a bright crimson lace up to 35 mm (1-1/2 in) long, encasing the brown nutmeg in irregular, fleshy lobes. As it is dried, it develops its characteristic aroma but loses its bright red colour. The mace from either locale can become brittle and horny, though the best quality mace will retain some pliability and release a little oil when squeezed. It is flattened and sometimes roughly broken into ‘blades’. It is also sold ground and sometimes still enclosing the nutmeg.
Preparation and Storage : Whole mace pieces can be steeped in liquid and then the liquid can be used, or the mace pieces can be removed after cooking. Mace has a good shelf life, provided it is stored in a cool dry place, away from sunlight. You can store it in a glass bottle, tightly lid and keep in in your cupboard dark storage area. There is no need of refrigeration required. Fresh mace flavor will last for at least 6 months.