Turmeric, The Golden Spice: From Asia to Africa
Received Date: June 10, 2020; Published Date: July 07, 2020
Global interest in medical/scientific, ethno-botanical and culinary studies relating to the ‘golden spice’ turmeric has significantly increased in the past decade, yet sparse documented information on the uses of turmeric in traditional health remedies, food preparation, crafts and other customs on the African continent specifically, is also noted. This paper attempts to overview literary and internet sources on the African culinary, craft and traditional healing uses of turmeric. The researcher draws upon available literature and websites on the local cultivation, customs and cuisine relating to turmeric in five African countries (north of the equator), namely Tanzania (in the East), Nigeria (in the West), Morocco (in the North) and, Ethiopia and Somalia (in Horn of Africa). Some fieldwork experiences relating to Nigerian immigrant communities in the city of Durban, South Africa is also included. The paper comprises two parts, the first part briefly examines the early history, customs and uses of turmeric in Asia, and the second part focuses on the how turmeric has been locally produced in Africa and its influence on health, culinary and other cultural practices.
Keywords: Turmeric, Africa, Culinary, Asia, Spice, Traditional Healing, Customs