Asafoetida 40g by PURE FOOD ESSENTIALS
Asafoetida is also known as Asafetida, Hing, Food of the Gods and, due to its foetid smell, less appealing names like Devils Dung. It is grown only in Afghanistan and Iran where it is used medicinally, and in Kashmir. In India it is used both as a culinary spice, particularly in vegetarian food as an alternative to onion and garlic, and for its anti-flatulent properties in dishes containing pulses such as beans and lentils.
The smelliest of all spices, Asafoetida is derived from the resin in the root of the giant fennel plant (Ferula assa foetida). More like a tree, it grows to about two metres tall and is generally about four years old before the extraction of the resin. Before flowering, the stalks are cut close to the ground and the root is exposed. A nick in the top of the root allows for the flow of the milky resin. This process is repeated over a couple of months, yielding up to a kilo of resin before the plant dries out.
Asafoetida’s degree of pungency is directly related to its freshness. In its raw state, it is sun dried into solid wax-like lumps which are then ground to a powder. In this form it is incredibly pungent and is used in tiny, tiny amounts, mostly in medicines. For the culinary industry Asafoetida is compounded with a variety of flours, both to reduce its intensity and to stop it from clumping. Conventional asafoetida is the most adulterated of spices, some being blended with questionable additives to bulk it up. Pure Food Essentials organic Asafoetida is compounded only with organic arrowroot starch, a gluten-free product of the same family as turmeric.
Because of its pungency, and to maintain its freshness, asafoetida should be resealed promptly after use.