galanga (Alpinia galanga )
Plant family:Zingiberaceae (ginger family).
Origin: South East Asia; it is now cultivated in Indochina,
Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Used plant part: The ginger-like rootstock (rhizome). It is built up
from cylindrical subunits (circular cross-section), whose
pale-reddish surface is characteristically cross-striped by
reddish-brown, small rings. The interior has about the same colour
as the skin and is hard and woody in texture.
Although galanga leaves are aromatic, they are not often used for
flavouring purposes. The same holds for the seeds, which could be
used in place of cardamom.
Main constituents: Sensoric quality
Warm, sweet, spicy. Fresh galanga has a distinct fragrance that
reminds of fir or pine needles; dried galanga is more spicy and
sweet-aromatic, almost like cinnamon.
Fresh galanga rhizome:Use
Greater galanga, is a very popular spice in whole South East Asia.
Galanga may be used fresh or dried, which makes a great difference
in flavour. Fresh galanga has a pure and refreshing odour and a
mildly spicy flavour; Like ginger, its aroma merges well with
garlic. Dried and powdered galanga is less fresh but more spicy,
something in between of ginger and cinnamon. Dried galanga is also
sold if form of slices that must be reconstituted in warm water and
come closer to fresh galanga in their flavour.