Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea)
Arrowroot has a long history of use by the Arawak, the Taíno, the Nepoya, the Maya and various other indigenous peoples of South America and the Caribbean. The name for this tropical plant comes from the traditional use of the herb by these tribes to treat wounds inflicted by arrows.
Other uses of arrowroot in body powders as an alternative to talcum powder. Also Suitable for use in gluten-free cooking and baking. Thickens foods at low temperature heating and also freezes well.
Arrow root starch has in the past been quite extensively adulterated with potato starch and other similar substances. Pure arrow root, like other pure starches, is a light, white powder (the mass feeling firm to the finger and crackling like newly fallen snow when rubbed or pressed), odorless when dry, but emitting a faint, peculiar odor when mixed with boiling water, and swelling on cooking into a perfect jelly, which can be used to make a food that is very smooth in consistency—unlike adulterated articles, mixed with potato flour and other starches of lower value, which contain larger particles.
When the plant is less than a year old, the starch is extracted from the rhizomes, which are washes and pulped and then mixed with clean water. The fibers are hand-wrung to capture the liquor and the starch is dried in the sun.
Country of origin: Thailand
Safety: No known warnings regarding use of Arrowroot.