A member of the ginger family native to South and Southeast Asia, turmeric is used extensively in Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The rhizome is boiled and dried to make turmeric powder but can also be used fresh, as in our Ginger and Turmeric Coconut Soup. The flavor is earthy and astringent, with notes of pepper and mustard.
Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic and, like ginger, is under investigation as a possible treatment for many diseases.
*These portraits of unusual finds at our local farmers market were inspired by Jonathan Lovekin's photographs from Tender, chef Nigel Slater's lovely homage to his vegetable patch. The ginger and turmeric here were grown by Clay Bottom Farm (Goshen, Indiana).