While doing some editing in a central London cafe yesterday, I noticed that there were more customers washing down their brunch with a turmeric latte than a flat white. This may say more about my choice in London cafes but it does also signify that the latest superfood trend, turmeric, is becoming as much a staple on the menus of cafes as it is the lifestyles of the celebrities and 'healthy eating' bloggers who endorse the golden spice as their secret to health, happiness and glowing skin.
But, does the super spice have all of the healing properties bestowed upon it?
Turmeric (haldi) is a plant from the ginger family and looks rather similar to ginger when in its original form though we tend to see the ground, powder version of it in most stores. It is mainly south Asian in its origin and has been around for 4,000 years, with its primary use actually being medicinal rather than culinary. It is, however, used regularly in modern day Asian cuisine for its colour as well as its flavour and is the repeat offender when it comes to glowing orange-yellow stains on my clothes. It's warming, smokey and slightly bitter flavour makes it a prime target for being transformed into a hot drink.