Arrowroot Delivery or Pickup
The Instacart guide to arrowroot
Arrowroot powder has a wealth of uses that can make it a valuable addition to your pantry. One of its most straightforward uses is as a thickener for sauces. Arrowroot powder is more effective at lower temperatures than other starches, so it's easy to use in gravies and other dishes. You can also use arrowroot to thicken pie filling, pudding, and custard.
Arrowroot is a perennial plant that belongs to the Marantaceae family. This tropical plant can grow to a height of up to 6 feet. It has long stems and small white flowers, but it's the rhizome or rootstock of the plant that's used for culinary purposes. These fleshy tubers are extremely starchy. They're harvested just before the dormant season when the tubers contain the most starch.
Once harvested, the arrowroot tubers are soaked in hot water. The roots are then peeled, mashed, and washed. This separates the starch from the pulp. The resulting starch is dried and ground into powder. It is this resulting powder that's typically purchased in stores and used for cooking.
There are many different types of arrowroot, though it is only M. arundinacea that's considered true arrowroot. Alternatives that you may find in the store include:
- Tulema arrowroot: A West Indian plant that results in powder with larger grain.
- Brazilian arrowroot: Used for tapioca, this type of arrowroot is derived from the cassava plant.
- Tacca arrowroot: Also known as Otaheite, this comes from the South Pacific pia plant.
- Portland arrowroot: This alternative comes from tubers of the cuckoopint.
Arrowroot powder is a versatile product that does not react to acidic ingredients and has no impact on a food's color or taste. It can withstand freezing without harm and even prevent ice crystals from being used in homemade ice cream—foods prepared with arrowroot powder freeze well and reheat beautifully without compromising their quality or consistency.
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