From Karnataka with Love
How we met Roma

We are excited to announce that we will be offering a new variety of turmeric for the 2022 harvest season!  

Here at Aloha Turmeric we have been interested in the diversity of turmeric species for quite some time.  It turns out there are over 100 varieties of turmeric! 

We are interested in turmeric’s various health benefits and in particular, its adaptations to different growing conditions. Diversity is always on our minds. Why? Because in diversity there is resilience.

We first encountered Roma in the spring of 2018 during an educational adventure in the heart of the turmeric growing country: Karnataka, India.  Our trip was a joint project between the University of Hawaii (UH) and Aloha Turmeric - our goals during this trip included meeting turmeric farmers and processors in other countries to learn from these experts and to bring back new cultivars for further research in Hawaii.  Turmeric has a long and vital role in Indian culture and is grown and managed on a scale that is truly astounding!  We learned so much from our Indian counterparts and are eternally grateful for their willingness to share with and teach us.  

We learned that Roma is a common cultivar grown throughout India.  It tends toward a higher curcumin content overall and has a pleasant flavor which lacks the strong bitterness that some varieties are known for.  Compared to the Hawaiian Red variety, which we had become quite accustomed to, Roma has larger rhizomes and yields a higher curcumin content (7-8% curcumin content on average) compared to Hawaiian Red (5-7% curcumin content on average).  Roma thrives here in Hawaii, with plants growing up to 5-6 feet tall.  Its flavor is slightly less bitter compared to other cultivars, which makes for a pleasant, more mild flavored juice.

We are actively engaged in research and field trials with the University of Hawaii with the goals of diversifying commercially viable turmeric cultivars to be grown organically within the United States.  We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the experts in Karnataka and look forward to ongoing collaborations to improve our understanding about this ancient herb.  

We fell in love with Karnataka and Roma and are so excited to be able to bring this new variety to our customers after four years of research and growth.  


From Karnataka with Love
Aloha Turmeric, Kevin Flanagan 14 February, 2022
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