Turmeric (also known as tumeric) is found in a root, rhizome, that is most commonly found in India and Southeast Asia. Before the advent of chemical dyes, turmeric was used for hundreds of years as a coloring for fabric. Its bright yellow-gold color is striking and a popular choice for a variety of garments. Turmeric’s color is also seen in the foods it is added to as a spice and/or food coloring.
Turmeric is added to curry powder and mustard and used to color cheese. Though turmeric looks like saffron, it has a very different taste. Known for being bitter, with a strong pepper taste, turmeric has to be used thoughtfully, as it does not go well many foods and lots of people simply do not like the taste of turmeric with anything.
There are two kinds of turmeric commonly available, called alleppey and Madras. Alleppey is the the form of turmeric we see in American supermarkets and can be identified by its deeper color.