What is edible camphor made of?

Have you ever tasted a dish that had an uncanny smell and flavor that you couldn’t quite put your finger on? Yes, the one with the lingering aroma of Vicks Vapor Rub? Chances are it had edible camphor as its secret ingredient. If you are itching to know what this mysterious culinary component is made of, look no further!

Let’s dive into everything there is to know about edible camphor – from its origins to how it’s processed and used in cooking.

The Origin Story

Camphor has been around for centuries and was originally extracted from the wood and bark of certain trees found mainly in Asia. However, not all camphors were created equal – some could only be used for medicinal purposes while others were deemed fit for consumption.

Edible camphor falls under the latter category due to its milder composition compared to traditional camphors. It wasn’t until recently that Indians recognized our obsession with eating anything remotely aromatic could extend beyond cloves, cardamom, cinnamon et cetera.

Yes! We also loved adding edibles like sandalwood powder, milk essence drops or food-grade rosewater in our ‘mithai’ (sweets). And voila Edible Camhpory entered this arena!

Chemical Composition

Now if we’re talking about chemical composition(yawn), let us break down what actually makes up edible camphor (C10H16O) chemically known as 1,7,-menthol which means a derivative product obtained by synthetically extracting oil from turpentine wood through steam distillation process.

Here’s a little fun fact: Just like moths avoid naphthalene balls- yes those white repellant balls stored away in grandma’s wardrobe; mosquitos too can’t stand strong odours including taste leaving insecticide on your tongue. Being the yin and yang of life— in contrast to this, we Indians have invented ‘edible camphor-milk’ or “Pacha Karpooram Paal” concoctions which make mosquitos swerve from our bedsides!

Types of Edible Camphor

Edible camphor or powder obtained from kamferia tree has two varieties i.e synthetic or natural. Synthetic edible camphor is widely used due to its lower toxicity and purity as compared to natural ones.

Of course, both are safe for ingestion but think about it- do you want some random organic tree bark unknowingly ingested? Nope! You could be allergic too.

Preparation Process

The preparation process of edible synthetic camphor sounds a bit like cooking – involves specific equipment and careful measurements.

Camphor making

Here’s what’s involved:

  1. Isolation – First things first, isolating raw materials (not skimping over quality here) needed to create this magical dust that brings flavor bombs when added cautiously (attention OCD folks!)

  2. Steam Distillation emphasis on steam , being responsible for separation where Essential oils rise while the water molecules absorb remaining inactive substances such as soluble ketones, terpenes etcetera.

  3. Acetylation– The essential oil needs purification ; thus undergoes acetylation adding reagents e.g chloroacetic acid into specific glass reaction vessels meeting scientific guideliens under controlled thermally regulated systems.

  4. 8 hours later…we receive ivory white Crystalline platelets chemically known as EDIBLE SYNTHETIC CAMPHOR voila!

So there you see how whole lot fancier process goes behind ending up with something that looks like small crystals, albeit tastier crystals!

Edible Camphor’s Culinary Uses

Edible camphor has long been used in Indian cuisine, particularly in the creation of sweet dishes. Its flavor is difficult to describe but is often described as menthol-like with slight hints of citrus.

Some popular ways to use this magical dust include:

Adding it to Desserts

In India, edible camphor provides a unique twist on traditional sweets like barfis (dense milk-based fudge made from coconut or cashews) and laddoos (round-shaped sweet made from chickpea flour).

It’s also widely used as an ingredient in ‘Paan’- a dessert that involves mixing areca seeds with other delicious ingredients such as betel leaves, nuts and spices.

Sometimes even hickey smears could be drizzled over paan for an added texture bonus; reminds us how every little drop counts…

In Drinks

This gentle powder dabbles into non-sweet recipes too! It imparts an earthy musky tone essential when preparing Masala Chai tea mix which warms you up without sweatin’ you out…\

Camphor infused almond oil extract makes excellent swig adding tonic beverages providing its perceived medicinal properties across Asia too!

Preserving Food

Another creative including using culinary kampher capsules lie not directly related to food preprataion yet preserving food items — by adding the spice along with sea salt preventing genetic exhaustion amongst them shelves life preserved against mother nature.

Imagine feeling lazy only realizing late all your dried fruits just got eaten awaye by insects instantly regretting ignoring chachaji’s dehydrating guidance…don’t worry about anything post following our very simple steps –

  • Get hold of some good quality clear jars
  • Cover their mouth opening completely with coarse sea_salt
  • Put your desired dried fruits/vegetables
  • Give uniform sprinkle dance routine across the container
  • Seal those fantastic kamphor capsules in it!

Not only will your food remain fresher for longer, but also the unordinary earthly scent prooves beneficial chemistry reaction with produce aiding align all attributes needed for healthy growth as well.

Health Benefits

Now let’s take a look at some potential health benefits of consuming edible camphor:

Boosts Immune System

Edible camphor is believed to have antibacterial properties that can help boost our immune system. When consumed regularly and warmed up by acidic liquids present in out stomach (like intestinal enzymes), it produces an aromatic flavour consisting of terpenoids like borneol, linalool and perillic acid which are known to facilitate lymphatic circulation inside the body .

I mean forgetting supplements off prescription pads for a while seems welcoming,right?!

Relieves Upper Respiratory Problems

Thanks to its cooling effect, much alike peppermint or eucalyptus oil adding flavoured mithai would not go unnoticed you know… Edible camphor has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hiccups, bronchitis or coughs caused due bacterial infections.

Alternatively- placing these small crystals upon warm face towels during cold wars could comfort nasal passage inflammation relieving headaches, de-stressing facial muscles.

Better than stuffing cotton balls right?

Final Word

So there you have it – A brief rundown on what makes up edible camphors alongside their multitude uses. Be sure to give this unique culinary ingredient a try the next time you’re feeling adventurous or simply want to add something unexpected flavorsome tadka mixin’ up popping bowls flavors!

From sweet dishes to preserving vegetables over season transitions – It’s evident that this undervalued power agent deserves adoration galore both against culinary prowess and natural holistic remedies – who knew nature had so many hidden treasures lying beneath barren lands….

live more fearlessly

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