Like ginger, turmeric is the rhizome of a herbaceous plant. It grows in tropical countries (India, China, Indonesia) and has been used for thousands of years. Turmeric is also known to cure back problems, indigestion, and coughs. When ground, it has the same orange color as saffron. Both contain curcumin, an orange pigment. It was once known as « Indian saffron » due to the fact that is was sometimes passed off as saffron, so beware of imitations.
Color is not necessarily an indication of quality, because it can vary between species.
Turmeric can be used to add color to rice dishes and to season soups, meat stews, and broiled fish. It is an ingredient in curry spice mixes.
Store turmeric away from light and moisture.
Turmeric can irritate the stomach if consumed in large amounts. But taken in small amounts, it is a remedy for diarrhea and indigestion.