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Vegetable of the Month: Rhizomes - Gingerroot, Galangal, Tumeric

Galangal Varieties continued...

Flavor: Aromatic and pungent, peppery and ginger-like. Stronger, more medicinal taste than greater galangal.

Kaempferia Galangal: Often identified as greater galangal. Red skin and white interior. Used as a flavoring in South East Asia.

Flavor: Medium in strength.

Different galangal varieties vary in their hotness and flavor. Flavor ranges from flowery to ginger-like to peppery cinnamon (see box below).

In addition to being used as a spice in cooking, galangal has been used in Asia and the Middle East in perfumes, snuffs, aphrodisiacs, and as flavors for condiments (including vinegar and beer), in teas in Germany and wines in Russia. Like ginger, galangal has been used for medicinal purposes to treat nausea, flatulence, and dyspepsia.


Serving Size: 64g

Amounts Per Serving

% Daily Value

Calories 45


Calories from Fat 5g


Total Fat 0g


  Saturated Fat 0g


Sodium 10mg


Total Carbohydrate 10g


  Dietary Fiber 2g


  Sugars 0g


Protein 1g


Vitamin A


Vitamin C






* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Tumeric is the root of a tropical plant that has been used in cooking since 600 B.C. It is native to the Orient and now can be found in India and the Caribbean. It has a bitter, pungent almost woodsy flavor, is yellowish-orange in color.

The tumeric root has light brown skin and bright reddish-orange flesh. Turmeric was used in biblical times as a perfume but now it is most commonly used to flavor and color food. Ground turmeric is widely used in East Indian cooking particularly in curries as well as other soups and stews.

Rhizomes: Availability, Selection, and Storage

Rhizomes can be found as roots in some Asian grocery stores, farmers markets and natural food stores (gingerroot can even be found in many chain grocery stores). In spice form, ginger and tumeric can be found in almost any food store.


When ripe, galangal should be ivory white and firm with very little separation between skin and flesh. Never buy galangal that is wrinkled or shriveled. Store refrigerated uncut and unwrapped for up to 3 weeks or, peel the root and place it in a jar of sherry and store it refrigerated for several months. Galangal can be frozen if tightly wrapped in foil.


Ginger is available year-round. When selecting gingerroot, choose robust firm roots with a spicy fragrance and smooth skin. Gingerroot should not be cracked or withered. It can be stored tightly wrapped in a paper towel or plastic wrap (or put into a plastic bag) in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks and like galangal, gingerroot can also be placed in a jar of sherry and refrigerated for 3-6 months.

WebMD Public Information from the CDC

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