Most people are accustomed to the frequent purchasing of turmeric spice from the local grocer; the vibrant yellowy powder that dyes their cuisines readily. Curcuma domestica, only known as a cultivated genus is part of the ginger family, and thus is a finger-like tuber.
I know I pour over nutritional values of every plant I’ve included, but honestly, turmeric is the QUEEN. Iron, manganese, B-6, potassium, fiber, anti-cancer, lowering cholesterol, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, arthritis relief, psoriasis reducer, headache easer and blood clot salvation queen, to name a few. It’s also known as an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for curing poison.
Turmeric is an essential ingredient of curry, comprising 25% of its content. It’s what gives it, and many other things turmeric has been used as a dye for, a yellowy-orange colour, including your cutting boards and hands when cooking. Highly coveted turmeric is protected by law from imposters in India, where over 94% of world production occurs.
The turmeric plant is a 1 meter tall perennial adorned with large white flowers coveted for their ornamental and additionally edible properties. In fact, turmeric plants in their entirety can be used/consumed. Shoots and tips are eaten raw, and leaves are used in soups or as wraps. Naturally, turmeric requires a frost-free tropical climate, with fertile and well-drained soil. It comes from the Southeast Asian region, where its cultivation has been documented for over 2500 years.
Ground turmeric is most common, and unfortunately many batches that are sold are laced with cheaper strains, dirt, talc and other mysterious compounds. Take my advice- buy it whole in tuber form- it stays fresher, is guaranteed pure, and hasn’t been boiled or been introduced to as many preservatives.
Canada has a lot of potential for indoor turmeric farms. In fact, the Organic grocery store I worked in had excellent, fresh local turmeric and it had an incredible flavour. They are considered very low-maintenance and can be grown outdoors and transplanted for winter inside with little stress imposed.