I’m horrified at what I’ve been reading around, especially here on the internet, about turmeric and turmeric. The confusion people make immense; the confusion created because here the turmeric is also called saffron or saffron only, which is wrong. I have already seen a saffron picture illustrating a salt seasoned with turmeric. It talks about a seasoning and using the photo of another. And the day I read that article inspired me to write this post: “Turmeric is the root, and the saffron Is turmeric powdered toast, “the material talked about antioxidants and brought the photo of saffron.
No problem in not knowing, I have doubts about spices even studying a lot, it is a vast subject (and charming!!). But from the moment you write, you should look for a little more correct information, do not you think?
So let’s go!
Turmeric and Saffron come from different plants and species.
Turmeric is not a root; it is a rhizome or underground stem of a plant. It’s okay to call it root. But calling saffron does not! Saffron from the ground, Turmeric costs cheap and is usually sold dehydrated and powdered, which is dark yellow or orange. It is it that contains curcumin, the antioxidant that is fashionable and appears to be powerful.
Already saffron is the stigmas of a purple flower color, are those red photo filaments. It is a very expensive seasoning sold in the glass containing a gram or less, has a different aroma and flavor of turmeric. It is usually sold whole, can be found in powder, but the powder is red. They are used in Spanish paella. As far as we know, the saffron has no antioxidant properties, but Turmeric benefits have.
Neither spice is toast! Spices are dehydrated, so they last longer and develop all their aromatic potential. They can be cured and even smoked, but roasted are the coffee and the brains of those who write without researching right. We can “toast” the spices before using, but we still use the word toasting.
A Little About Turmeric
Many people confuse turmeric with saffron, the rare spice that colors and flavor the paella. Turmeric also imparts flavor and color, but with a very own personality. In fact, a lot of paella around gets an extra boost of this dye (if not tartrazine yellow), since it is infinitely cheaper. But by the similarity of attitude, it may be called saffron or turmeric, although there is an abyss of differences between this tuber and the very expensive stigmas of the saffron flower. Here are also other names: golden ginger, Amazon saffron or root saffron. By the way, the names reveal much of its colorífica nature, after saffron comes from ArabicZa’faran , which means yellow, as well as the Persian Kurkumor Sanskrit kum-kuma , which gave rise to the scientific nameCurcuma longa . English is turmeric , which comes from the Latin merita land or merit of the land .
Today we find turmeric in all of Brazil and in all tropical countries, but the plant is native to South and Southeast Asia.From the family of the zingiberáceas, like the ginger, the most interesting part of the turmeric are the rhizomes that grow under the earth, of orange or reddish coloration. In Asia, it was already used as spice, dye and medicine for 4,000 years. Today it is used in phytotherapy, with proven effects such as digestive, gallbladder stimulant, hepatoprotective and immunostimulant.In addition, the pigment named curcumin acts as a potent antioxidant.
It is a common seasoning in several Asian countries, especially in India. It’s what gives that yellow color part of the flavor in most Indian curries and goes into almost all meat dishes, vegetables or grains. It is not very easy to be found fresh, like the ones I picked up in Fartura, but when freshly harvested, it has a fresh fragrance and somewhat bitter and spicy taste.What is in the market is the product in fine powder, result of the drying and crushing of the tubers, with musky scent and flavor resembling a little ginger. In Indonesia, fresh leaves, with delicious green mango scent, are also used as flavoring in dishes with sauce or soups. The fact is that each country that cultivates today has its most common uses. In Brazil it is usually used to color rice, dishes with chicken, fish or seafood.And although it is not common in some countries it appears in sweet dishes like the Lebanese cake Sfoof , made with semolina.
If you are lucky enough to find fresh turmeric out there (when it is time – now – it usually appears in some grocery stores and hortifrutis), bury some to see the leaves sprout and use it as a seasoning (or wait a little longer and pick up new rhizomes). To keep cool, wash well and freeze. When it is time to use, expect to defrost a little and strain. But wear gloves and a board that can be tarnished as it dyes everything that passes by. And remember that one part of the powder equals two of the fresh product. Or more. If you want to dry, just slice thin, let dry in the dry shade and then grind in the blender.
The pigment of turmeric is very sensitive to alkalinity, especially when heated. Along with baking soda or chemical baking, in cakes, for example, you will gain a beautiful red color. Add 1 teaspoon per 300 g of flour and the cake will turn yellow. If double use, the cake may turn red and still gain an intriguing spice of spice, which can be enhanced with a little fennel or cinnamon powder.
Take a test : place a bit of turmeric in water and bring to aboil. Dip a piece of white cloth there. It should turn yellow. If you want, fix with salt. Now point a piece of soap as a pencil and write or draw pictures on the cloth still wet. The soap, which is alkaline, will produce red scratches. Regreted? Do you want to delete everything? Just wash everything with vinegar as the yellow color returns to normal. Therefore, if you stain a cloth with turmeric or curry, do not pass soap. If not, it will only change the color of the stain for the worse. Best to wash only with water or with lemon or white vinegar.