Pagès has chosen to use Turmeric in several of its creations. This spice with its original and pronounced taste brings slightly spicy flavours to our infusions.
Turmeric has been used since time immemorial in India.
Origins of tumeric
It was mentioned in the literature in "Sanskrit", Indian literature, in the 4th century AD. It is in Atharva-Véda, a sacred Hindu text, that Turmeric is mentioned for the first time in the writings. It is indicated here that this plant can cure heart ailments. A simple massage with Turmeric powder would indeed prevent this type of health problem. Turmeric is popular in many areas in India, it is also a sacred spice in this country.
In the West, its use is recorded by Dioscorides (Greek doctor, pharmacologist and botanist). It was mainly used at that time to fight itchy dermatoses and purulent ophthalmias. The use of Turmeric remains here also mainly medicinal. Turmeric was highly prized in 17th century Europe, and Lémery (a French apothecary chemist) considered it "suitable for removing spleen obstructions, for jaundice and stone".
In the 18th century, Turmeric was more widely imported into Europe under its name "Terra Merita" or "Saffron from India". It was the major naval powers (Holland, the United Kingdom, Portugal and France) that introduced it to the continent. It will be used quickly, both for its dyeing and medicinal properties. In England, Turmeric will be called "Turmeric" in connection with the French nickname "Terre Mérite" that is given to the plant. This nickname itself comes from the Latin "Terra Merita" which refers to the root of the plant and in particular its earthy substance.
Turmeric is now grown in all sufficiently warm regions of the world. India is the largest producer of Turmeric, followed by Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and several countries in South America and the Caribbean. Turmeric is found in the composition of Curry. Turmeric is one of the spices that has spread rapidly throughout the world. For this reason, it has many nicknames. In France, it is of course called "Saffron from India" but also "Souchet from India", "Souchet from Malabar", " Saffron root " or " Culcuma ".
Characteristics of tumeric
Name: Turmeric longa
Species: Perennial plant
Turmeric is a perennial plant about one meter high, native to southeast Asia. Its thick rhizome, orange-yellow at the break, with an aromatic odour and warm, slightly bitter taste, gives long, sheathing, veined leaves and small yellowish flowers topped with pink bracts.
The rhizome contains carbohydrates, a bitter principle, curcumin, which gives it its intense colour, an oleoresin and an aromatic essence rich in zingiberene and turmerone.
Uses of tumeric
In France, turmeric is mainly used in the culinary arts. The pronounced taste of this spice is indeed appreciated by many cooking styles. It makes it possible to slightly enhance many dishes, to bring them originality and a certain singularity. It is obviously found in couscous but also in meat and fish preparations, in sauces such as vinaigrette dressing, in quiches and cakes, in vegetable dishes, etc. Turmeric is a must in Indian and Creole cuisine.
Its yellowish, golden colour makes Turmeric a popular spice for dyes. Indeed, it is often used to dye clothing and fabrics in the East.
Benefits of tumeric
The active ingredient of Turmeric is curcumin. In India, curcumin has always been recognized as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Chinese medicine uses Turmeric to fight against pain, tumours and blood congestion. In the West, Turmeric is used to compensate for flatulence, difficult deliveries, dropsy, jaundice or bile inertia. The WHO has even identified some traditional uses of Turmeric as consistent and effective against ulcers, various pains, inflammation, epilepsy, diarrhea and skin diseases.
It is also said that Turmeric helps to overcome stress and strengthen natural defences.