Arrowroot’s Latin name is Maranta arundinacea as it was named after a 16th century medical practitioner, Bartommeo Maranta. There are different species of arrowroot, or Maranta, and Maranta malaccensis from Borneo has poison in its root, used to put on arrows. But the arrowroot we buy packaged from a chemist or drugstore is not harmful, in fact the Indians who know this plant in the rainforests of South America and in the West Indies, use it to draw out the poison from arrow wounds and snake and spider bites.
It was introduced into Britain around 1732, and has been used ever since to calm stomach upsets and it is given to people who are recovering from illnesses. Apparently it is also good for infants who are in the process of being weaned, as it is farinaceous, and bland.
The powder, when put on feet, helps reduce excess moisture and so can help to prevent fungal ailments such as athlete’s foot. However it has no fungicidal properties, it only soaks up sweat.
ARROWROOT PUDDING and FRUIT
2 tbsps arrowroot powder
1 litre milk
1 tbsp sugar
50 gr butter
¼ tsp nutmeg
500gr fruit of your choice
Mix the arrowroot with a little of the milk so that it makes a smooth paste.
Boil the rest of the milk with the sugar and add it to the paste slowly, stirring carefully all the while.
Add butter and stir in well.
Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish that has been well greased, and sprinkle the grated nutmeg over the top.
Cook in a medium oven for an hour to an hour and a half.
Serve hot or cold.
Chop up the fruit and marinade in cointreau or grande marnier for an hour or so, then serve with the pudding.
This has Taste and is a Treat.