Interesting thread with a lot of good points. I read that USFDA link posted above, and was surprised to notice that Italian sausage is limited to just 3% water. I see the 35% fat limit mentioned here and there, but hadn't seen the low water limit.
It's funny mace is more expensive, it used to be the Poor Man's Nutmeg--used by common folk who couldn't afford the more expensive actual nutmeg and its delicate flavor.
About mace... I think several folks above may have gotten the wrong impression, mace doesn't taste like licorice to almost anyone who tries it, not even close. Anise and fennel, yeah... but mace is mostly nutmeg profile with a spicy floral less delicate. Don't let one anecdote about a guy who doesn't like licorice make you think mace tastes that way, and convince you not to use! Think sharp peppery nutmeg instead. But like
said above, it can be strong and easily overpowers, especially if fresh! If you overdo it, it will be strongly noted. Use less than most any other spice, half gram per kg meat or .05% only.
Mace is a fantastic flavor, and is the subtle key ingredient in a lot of things like balogna to make it "perfect". I recently tried replacing 15% of the nutmeg with mace, in a Johnsonville brat clone, and really liked the results better than without the mace. Here's my writeup on that if details desired.
There is a thread on this recipe here. Been posted here about 6 times, I converted all the odd batch size and units, they are all same recipe. Might be from diggingdogfarm originally. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/wisconsin-bratwurst-recipe.316607/#post-2365717 Anyways, made some...