Arrowroot Powder Is A Thickening
The mention of the word spices brings to mind those
aromatic, flavorful ingredients that can magically
transform what would otherwise be a bland, boring dish
into a culinary masterpiece. In this respect, arrowroot
is rather different from most conventional spices, as
its main use in cooking is as a thickening agent.
However, is in one respect similar to other spices,
which is that a minute quantity is all that it takes to
produce the desired effect.
Arrowroot is derived from the roots of a tropical South
American plant after a fairly complicated process whose
end result yields the powdery white Arrowroot starch
resembling corn flour. Arrowroot was introduced to
Europeans by the Arawak people of the Caribbean, who
favored it highly as regarded it as a food with
considerable nutritious and medicinal value (in fact,
they called it “Aru Aru” meaning, “food of foods”). And
while that is a perfectly good explanation as to how it
came by its English name, another equally likely
explanation is its use by the Arawak to draw out poison
from wounds inflicted by poison arrows.
Arrowroot in Cooking
Arrowroot has a neutral taste and thickens at a lower
temperature than corn starch, and hence can be used to
thicken delicate egg-based soups and sauces. It also
imparts an eye-pleasing glossy look to the sauce.
However, care needs to be exercised not to add arrowroot
too early during the cooking process, as overheating
tends to destroy its thickening property.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot
Arrowroot is very light on the stomach and in Victorian
times used to be concocted into a drink and given to
convalescing patients, or as a jelly to babies being
weaned. However, it has been established that its
calorie content is low. Due to this fact, nowadays
arrowroot enjoys great popularity among
Good Food: The Complete Guide to Eating Well by Margaret