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Galanga, a plant with spicy notes that brings originality and a unique taste to our creations.
Galanga, a cousin of Ginger, is a perennial plant with a spicy flavour.
ORIGINS OF GALANGA
There are several varieties of Galanga. Three were quickly discovered: the Great Galanga (botanical name: Alpinia Galanga) from Indonesia, the False Galanga (botanical name: Kaempferia Galanga) and the Little Galanga (botanical name: Alpina officinarum) from Asia. This last variety is the best known and most used since Antiquity. This is still the case today.
Galanga has its origins in Southeast Asia. A cousin of Ginger, this perennial plant was introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages. It is said that it was then the Arab or Greek people who made Galanga known on the European continent. The origins of Galanga are, like those of many other plants, rather vague.
The Galanga was praised by Hildegarde de Bingen, a mystical nun and doctor of the 13th century, who praised its stimulating and carminative virtues. She called Galanga "spice of life" in reference to its benefits and spiciness.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GALANGA
Name: Alpinia officinarum (Petit Galanga)
Type: perennial plant
Galanga is a perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family, a large plant native to southeast Asia. Like many other plants, Galanga has many nicknames: Red Ginger, Laos Ginger, Laos Powder, Java Galanga, Indian Herb, etc.
The flowers of Galanga are white and veined with red. They are grouped into a branched inflorescence. The Galanga fruit is in the form of a globular capsule containing a few seeds. Galanga seeds are yellowish-white in colour and have fringed edges.
The hot and peppery flavour of Galanga is similar to that of Ginger and Cardamom. Galanga is commercially available in powder form or can be used directly "plain".
USES OF GALANGA
Galanga is found in the culinary arts. It has very interesting organoleptic notes. When you grate a piece of Galanga, you can smell something similar to Eucalyptus and woody notes of Pine. When you chew Galanga, you feel a burning sensation almost immediately on your tongue associated with a slightly astringent woody flavor. This burning sensation remains in the mouth for a long time and its intensity only decreases a few hours after tasting.
This culinary experience is similar with powdered Galanga, but the taste of the powdered plant is also reminiscent of Cinnamon, in addition to that of Ginger. Galanga is considered a spice and is found in several dishes typical of North African and Asian cuisine. Galanga is one of the main ingredients of Asian cuisine. It is used to season vegetables, refine curries, flavour meats, etc. In Malaysia, Galanga leaves are used to make rice salad. They bring a crispy and delicate touch to this dish.
BENEFITS OF GALANGA
In Chinese medicine, Galanga is used against abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
It is said that Galanga has a very powerful beneficial effect on digestive activity. More generally, consuming this plant would reduce bloating and flatulence.
Some people take Galanga to avoid motion sickness. It is said that this plant is antiemetic and helps to fight nausea and vomiting.