[Sca-cooks] galingale/galanga/galangal

prescotj at telusplanet.net prescotj at telusplanet.net
Wed Jan 10 21:44:33 PST 2007

OED does indeed mention both under the "galingale" heading.  The
earliest citation the OED gives under the East Indian plant is
1000.  The earliest under the English sedge version (which is
said to have similar properties) is 1578.

I think it a good bet that most, though perhaps not all, period
references to galingale are to the (imported) East Indian spice.


Quoting Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>:

> I received this message today, which I will be placing in the  
> Florilegium. However, I was under the impression that "galingale" was  
> the same as "galanga or galangal", probably from, as Jason mentions,  
> comments from this list.
> So can any one clarify this or refute one assertion or the other?
> I am copying him on this message. Please remember that he is not on  
> this list so copy him on any replies. I will try to remember to  
> forward any replies to him, however.
> Bear, you seem to be rather good at solving these kinds of puzzles,  
> so I'd especially like to hear your comments on this.
> Thanks,
>    Stefan
> <<<
> From: 	  jason at grazecatering.com
> Subject: 	Galingale
> Date: 	January 10, 2007 4:59:08 PM CST
> To: 	  stefan at florilegium.org
>   First,
> Thanks for providing a forum to exchange information about all things  
> medieval.  I would like to point out what seems to be a very glaring  
> (although understandable) error that is being taken as fact on your  
> site.  I am a chef  of a small catering business specializing in  
> globally-inspired hors d'oeuvres.  As a result, I have a tremendous  
> assortment of spices from all over the world, and always doing  
> research to find new "unusual" or "unknown" ingredients.  Lately I  
> have been doing a lot of research on medieval cuisine and cooking  
> techniques, which lead to my quest for galingale.  Many contributors  
> to florilegium are saying with authority that the spice "galingale"  
> mentioned in so many medieval recipes is the same as the spice  
> "galanga or galangal" used in southeast Asian cooking.  However, my  
> research indicates otherwise.  Galanga (kaempferis parviflora) is a  
> rhisome related to ginger, while galingale (cyperus longus) is a  
> sedge or type of grass native to the UK and other parts of Europe,  
> the root of which has been used for medicine and cooking for  
> centuries, if not millenia.  [See www.killerplants.com ]
> I would be interested to hear what others think about this and if  
> anyone knows of a source for dried galingale.
> Sincerely,
> Jason Bartis  >>>

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