This is the turmeric that... blue our minds.
Blue Turmeric is rare species of turmeric that's different from the standard yellow/orange Curcuma longa. It's typically used for medicinal applications throughout Vietnam, but we're partial to its menthol, pine-y aroma, with a flavor that's earthy, savory and beautifully bitter.
It adds a complexity, depth and flavor that's difficult to define but reminiscent of carrots, walnuts and celery - and a little bit goes a long way.
Use it to enhance vegetable stews, curries and soups, to brighten starches like rice and potatoes, and to balance sweetness in cocktails
Origin: Cao Bằng, Vietnam
Aliases: Nghệ đen, black turmeric, kali haldi, kala haldi, black zedoary
Processing: Sliced, then sun-dried
Ingredients: 100% blue turmeric powder (Curcuma caesia)
Tasting Notes: Menthol • Bitter melon • Pinecones
Sprinkle a little bit into salad dressing to add depth and complexity and balance acidity
Add to a vegetable stew or soup to accentuate the green vegetable flavor and add complexity similar to the flavor of celery, carrots and spicy olive oil
A hot water infusion with honey makes a perfect digestive beverage or simple syrup to balance sweetness in cocktails
We had a chance to dig up a few of these rhizomes when we were in Vietnam in early 2019, and we couldn't believe the intense color, flavor and aroma. You can see our friend and guide Phuc holding one in the second photo.
Our Blue Turmeric comes from Luc Khu in Cao Bằng Province, which is located in the high mountains of northern Vietnam. The hot summers, cold winters and abundant rainfall provide an ideal environment for aromatic plants like this turmeric.
Our partner farmers only grow very small quantities of Blue Turmeric, which is mostly used locally and has never been exported before.
The fresh rhizome comes in all shades of blue, from a bright, almost blue to a deep indigo. As it dries, its blue color turns into a greenish-yellow chartreuse hue, like in the photo below.
Over the past 18 months, we've been working with our partner farmers on different drying methods to keep the blue color. This batch has a much brighter color, but we haven't unlocked the secrets to keeping the blue color... yet.