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: 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
- Lemon-Blueberry Griddle Cakes
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.
- blue turmeric
Unique and liking it !!
I am at a loss as to how to adequately describe the Blue Turmeric. While the tasting notes identify menthol, bitter melon and pinecones and I can smell the undertones and taste them off my finger, those nuances seem to change completely depending on the foods you are adding them too. When I toss it in into green veggies and it elevates to a completely different experience. My greens are more bold and defined while other vegetables develop a different character all together. Sometimes bitterness will enhance the natural sweetness of say carrots. I have not completely figured this one out as yet. I sure do like it and enjoy working with it. I bought it because I was enticed by the unique factor and my intuition led me to believe I needed it. Thus far, I tend to use this in a more simpler form than I do other spices, meaning dishes that I only add 2-3 spices (less is more) vs. heavy layering that comes with say Indian/Asian inspired dishes or a hearty chili. I am working on better defining a more complex use. If you are up for a little adventure and also enjoy a little simplicity now and then, definitely consider buying this one. You have done worse things with more money, right ? ; )
Versatile and Delicious
This has really expanded my tumeric spice options - wonderful in kitchari, soups, vegetables. and my tumeric tea paste.
Looked Great, But it was a Gift
I haven't used the products since I gave it as a gift, but the giftee has told me that she's used a few and loves the spices.
A new type of turmeric from what I’ve used before. But then again I love cooking and B&B hasn’t failed me yet.
A real solid flavor. Great stuff.
The Blue Turmeric is a gem. Dyed hardboiled eggs in it, added to curried rice, cauliflower roasts and a surprise appearance in beet hummus. Exceptional flavor.
Another great purchase!
Like everything I’ve bought from Burlap and Barrel, the blue turmeric is great!