One of the most easily recognizable spices used in middle eastern cuisine, turmeric (Curcumas longa) has a slightly bitter, warm taste. A close relation to ginger, the turmeric shrub is primarily cultivated in southeast Asia and parts of Africa. It is often used as part of food seasonings for spicy curries and pungent mustards. Like other strong organic spices, turmeric is typically used in a ground form for culinary purposes. Turmeric is more than a popular organic seasoning, however, it's distinctive orange-yellow color has made it useful in fabric dyes.