As you’ve probably guessed, we love a good spice so we have decided to throw a new spice into the spotlight each month! This gives us the chance to gain a little more appreciation for these colorful, bursts of flavor we so often use to zhoosh up our meals!
How is it produced?
Turmeric comes from the roots of a Curcuma longa plant in the ginger family. As you can see, it looks just like ginger! The roots are dried and ground into a vibrant yellow/orange powder which is used for cooking and dyeing.
Where is it from?
The plant is mainly found in South East Asia
What does it taste like?
Earthy, bitter, peppery
Any interesting facts?
Guess what makes that yellow mustard on your hot dog so bright? Turmeric! Mustard seeds are in fact a dull brown color so turmeric is added as a powerful yellow dye.
Any health benefits?
Yes! Turmeric contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Studies have also linked it to improved brain function…so swap in a good curry for that oily fish next time you need a brain boost. Amazingly, studies have also shown that it can reduce cancer cell growth, treat Alzheimer’s disease and acts as an antidepressant. Is there anything this spice can’t do?
What global cuisines is it used in?
Unsurprisingly, it is used in the very place it comes from…South East Asia! In India and Nepal it is a key ingredient in many savory dishes but is also used for desserts and drinks such as Haldi Ka Doodh (hot turmeric milk). Turmeric has also made its way into Persian, South African and Ethiopian cuisine.