The turmeric craze started a few years ago. It would cure you of every thinkable ailment, or so it seemed. And it was also supposed to taste like heaven. In other words: pure gold.
We know about turmeric in the Netherlands because we use it to make Indonesian dishes – a remnant of our colonial past there. When turmeric was almost literally pure gold for the merchants exploiting the Indonesian islands. Which is something to regret, and apologise for, and learn about and from. And then there is the legacy of the Indonesian ‘rice table’ – a festive meal consisting of a wide variety of Indonesian dishes. It was concocted for the Dutch colonists of course, because it is lavish to the point of extravagance. But at least everybody these days loves it – including the Dutch people of Indonesian descent.
We call turmeric by other names though: kurkuma, koenjit, geelwortelpoeder (yellow root powder). Until a few years ago I had never even considered putting it in hot water – or milk to make ‘golden milk’. When the craze started I thought I’d try it out though. Not a big success, I didn’t like it at all. I gave the pot of ‘golden milk’ mixture away and never looked at turmeric again except to make ajam kuning or rendang. Besides, it turns out that the therapeutic/medicinal effects of turmeric were never proven.
All that will not stop me from trying this tea though! I made a cup at the end of a rather stressful afternoon, just before dinner, when I could use a bit of a pick-me-up. And… I liked it! Its spicy quality sets it apart from other teas and makes it somehow a little more ‘mature’ to drink in the afternoon. I don’t think I would like it in the morning, really. The colour was a lovely gold, of course.
PS I got this mug when I was in Austin, Texas, where the University of Texas (UT) is based – hence the logo. I have another mug from there. I will share it later (private little snigger).