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Welcome to the Spice Library! G to Z

 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Welcome to the Spice Library! G to Z Reply with quote

Welcome to the Spice Library! G to Z

Galangal

Galangal Chart (A)

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Galangal Drawing (B1)

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Galangal Drawing (B2)

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Galangal Info (F)

Galangal
Kaempferia galanga
Galangal root ready to be prepared for cookingThe Galangal plant or Blue Ginger is a rhizome with culinary and medicinal uses (Thai: Ka (ข่า), Malay: lengkuas (Alpinia galangal), Traditional Mandarin: 南薑, Simplified Mandarin: 南姜, T:高良薑/S:高良姜, Cantonese: lam keong, 藍薑, Vietnamese: Riềng). It used in various oriental cuisines (for example in Thai cuisine Tom Yum soups and Dtom Kha Gai, and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in Nasi Goreng). Though it resembles the ginger that it is related to, there is little similarity in taste.

In its raw form, galangal has a citrus, earthy aroma, with hints of pine and soap in the flavor. It is available as a whole root, or cut or powdered. The whole fresh root is very hard, and requires both a sharp knife and care to slice. A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic in parts of Southeast Asia. It is said to have the effect of an aphrodisiac, and act as a stimulant. In the Indonesian language, greater galangal is called laos and lesser galangal is called kencur. It is also known as galanggal, and somewhat confusingly galingale, which is also the name for several plants of the unrelated Cyperus genus of sedges (also with aromatic rhizomes).

The word galangal, or its variant galanga is used as a common name for all members of the genus Alpinia, and in common usage can refer to four plants, all in the Zingiberaceae (ginger family):

More information:
Common Name GREATER GALANGAL
Genus Species Languas galangal or Alpinia galanga
Family Zingiberaceae
Origin India, Southeast Asia, Laos
Cultivated Indonesia, Southwest India, eastern Himilayas

Common Name LESSER GALANGAL
Genus Species Languas officinarum or Alpinia officinarum
Family Zingiberaceae
Origin Southern China
Cultivated Indonesia, Malaysia

Description
This spice is popular in Asiatic cooking and was well-known in European medieval cooking. The plant Alpinia galanga (or Languas galangal) has numerous common names, including greater galangal, galangale and galang. It is also known as Siamese ginger or laos, since the plant is indigenous to Southeast Asia, and its rhizome (root) resembles ginger in appearance and in taste. The word galangal is probably derived from the Arabic translation of its Chinese name, liang-tiang, which means “mild ginger”. Sometimes the word galingale is used for the various galangale and associated gingery rhizomatous spices, but this term has also been used to describe tubers from the roots of certain cypress and sedge plants. These popular tubers of ancient Egypt are now available in Spain, and are know as tiger nuts, earth nuts, or chufa nuts. In Spain a sweet drink that is made from chufa nuts is called horchata; it differs from the Mexican drink of the same name which is made from rice.

Different galangal specimens vary in their hotness and flavor. The spice is said to have a flowery taste, while others describe it as tasting like ginger with cardamom. However, some feel the taste of galangal is more like peppery cinnamon, while lesser galangal has a stronger, hotter, and more medicinal taste. The lesser galangal Languas officinarum is sometimes confused with greater galangal. It comes from China, where it is used as a medicinal herb, but is grown in Indonesia and is regarded as a spice flavor for use in food. Another plant in this group is zedoary, also called white turmeric; this spice is sometimes used in foods, but it is currently of minor importance.

Galangal and other gingery spices are used in Asia and in the Middle East in cooking, perfumes, snuffs, and aphrodisiacs. The galangal spices have been used as flavors for condiments, including vinegar, beers, and wines in Russia, and they are used in Germany and elsewhere in teas.

A ruther related group of spicy plants are those members of the Kaemplferia genus, such as Kaemplferia galanga; this is sometimes confused with lesser galangal. See a list of spices by Taste and Hotness.
Useful Parts The roots of galangal contain the flavor.
Medicinal Properties They have no well-defined medicinal use, although they have been advocated for many of the disorders that are treated with ginger. In Germany, herbalists use lesser galangal for dyspepsia biliary symptoms, bowel spasm and angina.
See chemicals in spices.

Historical View Alpinia officinarum:
“Galangal is an aromatic stimulant like ginger. It was formerly much employed by the Arabians and Greeks, and was used to some extent in this country, but it has now become obsolete here”.

Ginger

Ginger Chart (A)

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Ginger Plant (C)

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Ginger Root

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Ginger (Ground)

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Mace

Mace (C)

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Mustard

Mustard Seeds (Black and White) (D)

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Mustard (Dry) (Ground) (E1)

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Mustard (Dry) (Ground) (E2)

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Nutmeg

Nutmeg Chart (A)

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Nutmeg Info (F)

The Nutmeg is the spice obtained from a medium-sized evergreen tree reaching a height of from twenty-five to forty feet.

This tree is dioecious; that is, the male flowers and the female flowers are borne upon different plants:

The male flower consists of a column of from six to ten stamens enclosed by a pale yellow tubular perianth. The female flowers occur singly, in twos or threes, in the axils of the leaves; they also have a pale yellow perianth.

The ovary has a single seed, which finally matures into the nutmeg and mace. The mature seed is about one and one-fourth inches long and somewhat less in transverse diameter, so that it is somewhat oval in outline. It is almost entirely enveloped by a fringed scarlet covering known as arillus or arillode (mace).

The entire fruit, nut, mace, and all, is about the size of a walnut, and, like that nut, has a thick outer covering, the pericarp, which is fibrous and attains a thickness of about half an inch.

At maturity the pericarp splits in halves from the top to the base or point of attachment. The leaves of the nutmeg tree are simple, entire, and comparatively large.

The nutmeg is now cultivated in the Philippines, West Indies, South America, and other tropical islands and countries. The botanic gardens have been largely instrumental in extending nutmeg cultivation in the tropical English possessions.

The trees are produced from seeds. After sprouting, the plants are transferred to pots, in which they are kept until ready for the nutmeg plantation. Transferring from the pots to the soil must be done carefully, as any considerable injury to the terminal rootlets kills the plants. A rich, loamy soil with considerable moisture is required for the favorable and rapid growth of the plants.

Paprika

Paprika Peppers (C)

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Black Pepper

Pepper (Black)

Pepper Chart (A)

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Black Pepper Plant (C)

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Tellicherry Pepper or Thalassery - Plant (C)

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Thalassery, also known as Tellicherry, is a city on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India. It is 21 km from the district headquarters, Kannur. The name Tellicherry is the anglicized form of Thalassery. Thalassery municipality has a population just less than 100,000. Thalassery municipality is part of the urban agglomeration of Kannur.

Pepper (Green)
Pepper (Pink)
Pepper (White)

Mixed Peppercorns (D1)

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Mixed Peppercorns (D2)

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Black Pepper (Ground) (F)

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Poppy Seed

Poppy Seed (Red) Chart (A)

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Poppy Seed (White) Chart (A)

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Pumpkin Pie Spice

Saffron

Sesame Seed
Shallots

Star Anise

Turmeric

Turmeric Chart (A)

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Turmeric Info (F)

The commercial spice product turmeric is obtained from a perennial herb (Curcuma longa) belonging to the same family with ginger. The plant is a native of Cochin China but is now propagated everywhere in tropical Asia. Turmeric reaches a height of 2 or 3 feet and bears long lanceolate leaves in tufts of 6 to 10.

The white or yellow flowers are borne in scaly, conical spikes. The rootstocks are thick, scaly, and ringed, and of a bright orange color. In India, about 60,000 acres are devoted to the production of turmeric, chiefly in Bengal, Madras, and Bombay. The most of the turmeric in the trade comes from Madras and Bengal.

Turmeric is propagated by division of the rhizomes, or roots, much as in the case of ginger. The plants are commonly cultivated in ridges or raised beds and the yield is about 2,000 pounds per acre.

In harvesting this crop the roots are washed, heated in earthenware pots, and then dried in the sun for a week or more. In India, turmeric roots are used fresh in the preparation of curry. Dried turmeric is used in curry powder and for coloring pickled preparations and sweet meats. Turmeric is also employed to some extent as a dyestuff.

A number of other species of the same genus, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma caulina, Curcuma angustifolia, and Curcuma amada, have been used as a source of starch, spice, condiment, dyestuff, cosmetics, and drugs. Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria) was once quite widely used as a spice but is now employed only by the natives of East Indies in curry powder.

The lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum), belonging to the same family, produces red roots. This plant is cultivated only in China. It is used in Russia in medicine and for flavoring beer, vinegar, and liqueurs. The greater galangal (Alpinia galanga) is cultivated in Malaya and Java. It develops a very large root with a buff flesh which is used in curries and native medicine.

Vanilla Bean

Vanilla Bean Chart (A)

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Vanilla Bean Info (F)

Vanilla planifolia belongs to the Orchid family, though it has many characteristics not common to most members of the family. It is a fleshy, dark-green, perennial climber, adhering to trees by its aerial roots, which are produced at the nodes.

The stem attains a length of many feet, reaching to the very tops of the supporting trees. The young plant roots in the ground, but as the stem grows in length, winding about its support and clinging to it by the aerial roots, it loses the subterranean roots and the plant establishes itself as a saprophyte, or partial parasite, life habits common to orchids. The leaves are entire, dark green, and sessile.

Inflorescence consists of eight to ten flowers sessile upon axillary spikes. The flowers are a pale greenishyellow, perianth rather fleshy and soon falls away from the ovary, or young fruit, which is a pod and by the casual observer would be taken for the flower stalk. The mature fruit is a brown curved pod six to eight inches long, smooth, splitting lengthwise in two unequal parts, thus liberating the numerous very small oval or lenticular seeds.

There are a number of commercial varieties of vanilla named after the countries in which they are grown or after the centers of export, as Mexican, Vera Cruz, Bourbon, Mauritius, Java, La Guayra, Honduras, and Brazilian vanilla. The most highly valued Mexican variety is known as Vanilla de leg (leg meaning law). The pods are long, dark brown, very fragrant, and coated with crystals. Since vanilla is a costly article, adulteration is quite common. Useless pods are coated with balsam of Peru to give them a good appearance. Split, empty pods are filled with some worthless material, glued together, and coated with balsam of Peru.
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