Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is native to South Asia and is in the same family as ginger. Fresh Turmeric “roots” are technically rhizomes that grow in fleshy clusters similar to ginger, but not always quite as large in size. The roots have a bright yellow-orange color and are the part of the plant used for cooking, dyes, and powders. It has been a popular seasoning in many Middle Eastern dishes for thousands of years, mostly ones that include curry. It is also used as a colorant for certain foods like cheeses and butter and is a great dye for clothing, soap, and cosmetics. Fresh Turmeric has a livelier and juicier flavor than dehydrated turmeric, but both have been described as having a peppery, warm, bitter flavor.