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What is turmeric? Or is it tumeric?


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Question: What is turmeric? Or is it tumeric?
Answer: Turmeric, often misspelled as tumeric, is a pungent Indian spice. It is used in many spice blends as a flavoring and coloring agent.

The flavor of turmeric is often described as buttery and slightly bitter, with a hint of mustard and horseradish. Fresh turmeric is more like ginger, but sweeter and more aromatic.

Turmeric is often suggested as a substitute for the much more expensive saffron (although not by professional chefs) and annatto, because it produces that beautiful golden color associated with saffron-infused recipes. Indeed, turmeric is often added to ground saffron by some unscrupulous manufacturers to increase the profit margin. When substituting turmeric for saffron, be aware that turmeric is much more pungent and should be used sparingly.

More About Turmeric and Turmeric Recipes

Turmeric Facts and Your Health
Turmeric Selection, Storage, and Cooking Tips
What is turmeric? FAQ
More Spice Information
Turmeric Recipes
Turmeric Photo © 2010 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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