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Re: [pfaf] galanga and alpinia sp.

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  • Bekki Moon
    Hello Luca I had a look for this in the Royal Horticultural Society herb encyclopedia, there s not a lot of information, but here is what it says: In addition
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 8, 2005
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      Hello Luca
       
      I had a look for this in the Royal Horticultural Society herb encyclopedia, there's not a lot of information, but here is what it says:
       
      In addition to Alpinia officinarum and A.galanga, several other species are used for flavourings and medicines.  The Australian A.caerulea (native ginger) has ginger-flavoured rhizomes..
       
      Looking it up on the internet found several sites which say that the blue fruit is possibly edible (some are more definite than others!) but that at very least the fruit's pith is edible and lemon-flavoured.  The young rhizome tips are also listed as edible, but as none of these give much information, it sounds like one worth researching a bit more before you try it on yourself!  I would love to know how to grow galangale, as it is something I enjoy using, I wonder if you are in the south of Italy or somewhere a bit cooler?  I live in Kent in England, which is not always that warm.
       
      Kind regards
       
      Bekki

      "Luca "Jama"" <jamaicafan@...> wrote:
      Hello everybody,
      I'm new to pfaf mailinglist, I'm from Italy and I grow a plant collection
      which became a personal project some years ago under name "The Ethnobotanic
      Garden".
      This just to introduce myself...
      this email is to ask if someone know differences in usage and safety between
      Alpinia galanga (galanga spice) and other Alpinia species. Particularly I'd
      like to know if anyone know if Alpinia caerulea is used and if it could be
      harmful if ingested.
      I grow here a large specimen (or just a clump of specimens) of Alpinia but
      they're mixed Alpinia galanga and Alpinia caerulea (when I put them together
      in the same pot I didn't realize they grow so well in my area). If anyone
      know differences will be great, because I'd like to try culinary employment
      of theese plants of myself.

      Thanks,
      Luca Gelardi - The Ethnobotanic Garden - ITALY
      http://www.psicoattivo.it/etnobotanica


      Send instant messages to your online friends http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com

    • Luca "Jama"
      Hello! Thanks for reply. In the meantime I ve received a copy of the huge opera omnia Cornucopia II by S. Facciola. There there s a reference to Alpinia
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 21, 2005
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        Hello!
        Thanks for reply. In the meantime I've received a copy of the huge opera
        omnia "Cornucopia II" by S. Facciola. There there's a reference to Alpinia
        caerulea: "tender, young tips of the rhizome have distinct ginger-like
        flavor and may be eaten. The pleasantly acid pulp that surrounds the seeds
        is also edible."
        After this I've looked at my plants that at this time are growing new
        shoots, but I'm a little confused, because young tips of the rhizome
        (shoots) are already enough fibrous and not so tender, I mean they are
        tender (and dark brown coloured) when they're 1-2 cm long then they start to
        hard the external part and they change their colour to lighter brown then
        reddish brown and at least the first leaf opens. So is the edible part that
        2 cm long tender shoot? Isn't it too small? I haven't still tried to cut off
        that young shoots, but I think that cutting them new shoots will come, I'll
        try.
        Just for information I'm located in southern Italy (Sicily island) and here
        the species grows very well. Both A.caerulea and A.zerumbet grows well as I
        think any other species of this genus. They suffer a little cold
        temperatures (here they rarely goes below zero degrees celsius) and leaves
        goes browny, but I cut down to ground at start of spring damaged shoots and
        new ones grow up. Last year they flowered for first time and it was during
        july, but they didn't set seeds, we'll see this year. The species is also
        very easy propagated via rhizome cuttings. I've received A.zerumbet cuttings
        from Reunion islands and after that long travel they started to grow very
        well once put under the ground.

        Luca
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