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.
Calories from Fat
Total Fat 0g
* 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
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
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.