Where to find turmeric roots in the grocery store

Turmeric roots are the raw versions of the spice you know as turmeric powder. Ground turmeric is popularly used as colorant in curries. It’s what gives them their vibrant yellow color.

Some people use turmeric powder as a form of dye, and it’s a potent ingredient in medicine. It helps to reduce internal inflammation and improve digestion, among other health benefits. 

If you‘re looking for where to find turmeric roots, we will show you the best aisles and stores to check in this post. 

Aisles you should check for turmeric roots

The best section to check for turmeric roots in a grocery store is the Produce aisle. Since turmeric roots aren’t processed or ground to powder form, grocery stores keep them raw close to other fresh spices like ginger and garlic. Some stores may stock the roots in the Refrigerator section with other frozen vegetables to give them a longer shelf life. If you don’t find them in any of these places, then it’s possible the store has run out of stock. 

Note that: Grocery store layouts change frequently, and some retailers may combine or separate aisles however they see fit. For example, you can find a Bulk area inside the Spices section. 

Most grocery stores prefer to stock grounded turmeric due to customer preferences. Customers go for the powder because they don’t have to grind it themselves at home.  You can use it as an alternative to turmeric roots when you have no luck with the fresh Produce and Refrigerator sections.  The downside is that most brands mix other ingredients with the powder, so it’s not always pure turmeric you’re buying.

To find powdered turmeric, and sometimes turmeric roots, visit the Spice or Condiments section. Grocery stores usually store them in bottles or jars to keep liquids and various contaminants from getting inside them. Other stores may keep them in the baking aisle since you can use the powder as a colorant for pastries. 

If you need to buy powdered turmeric in bulk, check the Bulk section where you can buy weighted foods. Weighted foods are any items that need to be measured, typically in grams or kilograms, before you buy them. They are usually in bulk bins, open sacks, or large barrels from which you can fetch the quantity you need.

Your last stop should be the Ethnic or International foods aisle. That’s where grocery stores keep native food items from countries all over the world. When in doubt, just ask any of the grocery store’s employees and they will point you in the right direction. 

How do you buy fresh turmeric root?

Most spices don’t spoil, and you can use them for years. The worst that could happen is that they will lose their potency, which means your food won’t taste as great as it did when you first bought the spice. That said, you can end up buying old turmeric roots with reduced potency at a grocery store. To ensure you get the worth of your money, always do a smell test first. 

Fresh turmeric roots always have an earthy smell. It isn’t strong or pungent, but mild enough for you to perceive it. If the turmeric roots are stale, you wouldn’t perceive any hint of an earthy smell. Fresh turmeric roots also have a vibrant orange color when you break them. The color indicates that they’ve just been uprooted recently. For stale roots, the color will look pale. 

Fresh turmeric root and powder with bright orange color
Fresh turmeric root & turmeric powder (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, not many grocery stores will be keen on letting you tamper with their produce. Instead, you can do a little research on the store’s stocking pattern before you buy anything. Target usually restocks between the hours of 12 am to 6 am everyday. You can watch this space to be updated on when most retail giants restock.

Where can you buy turmeric roots?

The grocery stores and supermarkets offer the best brands of turmeric powders and organic turmeric roots. Since aisles and sections vary, some stores have online locators that help you find the right aisle for the store in your region. Stores like Whole Foods Market don’t offer delivery options on their website, so you may need to use a food delivery app.

Amazon

Amazon offers you the convenience of shopping from your home. You can order turmeric roots online and receive it at your doorstep. The online marketplace mostly sells turmeric powders, but you can also find the roots there. 

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CERTIFIED ORGANIC - Frontier Co-op Organic Turmeric Root is sourced from India, Nicaragua, and Guatemala using organic and non-irradiated methods. Our cut and sifted Turmeric is also kosher. There are no artificial additives or chemicals used at any stage of growing and manufacturing.
Rani Turmeric (Haldi) Root Whole Spice ~ Dried 7oz (200g) ~ All Natural | 100% Pure | Vegan | Gluten Friendly | NON-GMO | Indian Origin
  • You'll LOVE our Turmeric Root Whole (CURCUMA LONGA) by Rani Brand--Here's Why:
  • ❤️Special Note: This is a hard dehydrated root, soaking in water will re-hydrate it, its not the same stuff as fresh turmeric (like produce)
  • ❤️100% Natural, No preservatives or All Natural, Non-GMO, Gluten Friendly PREMIUM Gourmet Food Grade Spice.
  • ❤️Many other brands use a lesser grade known as "erode" which is 1-2%. Ours is north of 3% curcumin. This the IDEAL percentage range for cooking. Too low - not enough benefits. Too high - the taste is not palatable. This BALANCE is a must.
  • ❤️Rani is a USA based company selling spices for over 40 years, buy with confidence! Net Wt. 7oz (200g), Authentic Indian Product, Product of India, Alternative Name (Indian) Haldi

Asian or Ethnic foods markets

Turmeric roots naturally grow in Southern India and Indonesia. Asian or Ethnic foods markets should have them since the roots classify as international foods. We’ve made a list of the best Asian grocery stores to help you narrow your search.

Walmart

Walmart has turmeric roots in the Produce section. You can use its online locator feature to find a Walmart store near you and the right aisle. Walmart also offers delivery options for you 

Whole Foods Market

Turmeric roots are in the Produce section near other fresh food items like the long and garbanzo beans. Since Amazon owns the store and fulfills deliveries for it, you may need to order from the Whole Foods Market webpage via Amazon.com. You can’t order from the Whole Foods Market website directly.

Kroger

Most Kroger stores have fresh turmeric roots. They usually keep them in clamshell containers in the produce aisle.  Like Walmart, the store also has an online locator.

Albertsons & Safeway stores

Turmeric roots are in clamshell containers in the Produce aisle. The same company owns both stores, so you may notice some similarities. For example, their website layout and aisle arrangements.

Publix

Publix stores turmeric roots in clamshell containers in the Produce aisle.

Conclusion

As aforementioned, you would most likely find turmeric roots in the Produce section. That’s where all the raw vegetables, fruits, and spices are. Basically, it’s the aisle you want to look into first if you need anything fresh. Since your chances of finding the roots are low, you should consider other substitutions

Ginger roots are a good place to start. They look similar to turmeric roots on the outside, but they don’t have the bright orange color when grounded. Ginger roots are also spicier, and you should use them with moderation. You can grind and use them in soups and smoothies, as well as mix them with curries for a sharper taste. Alternatives for turmeric powder include curry powder, paprika, and dry mustard.