It’s obvious that turmeric (curcuma domestica) is related to ginger. It grows in knobby rhizomes and has a similar gingery flavor with a hint of pepper heat. But once you cut into a turmeric root, it’s clear you don’t have ginger. The flesh inside is bright yellow-orange, and that pigment lends its color to many foods, including curry powder, cheese, butter, pickles, and hot dog mustard.

rhizome that are boiled, peeled, dried, and ground. Turmeric is avail- able fresh, but its flavor is no more remarkable than the easily attained powder. Both forms will stain your skin and clothes, so take care.

Curcumin, the main flavor component and a powerful antioxi- dant, is being studied for its possible beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, colon cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma.

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