1530–40 Originally known as tarmaret, the name derived from the French terre mérite, literally translating as ‘deserving or merited earth’.

According to Harold McGee, the American cookbook author and contemporary authority on the science and lore of the kitchen, the “name is of obscure origins. In the Middle Ages it was called “Indian Saffron and was used as a substitute for the rarer spice, and was a dye.” In approximately 700 AD turmeric was brought to China from India.


Samantha Gowing with a hand of turmeric with the ‘mother’ and many ‘children’ or fingers ©2013 Nigel Carboon


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