Sandalwood

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

sandalwood a name of Indian origin, refers to various small trees and shrubs native to E. Indonesia, the Pacific islands, and N. Australia. Most are of the genus Santalum, but the Australian genus Eucarya furnishes wood with a similar fragrance.

The trees are best known as the source of aromatic wood and roots, used as incense and for religious and medicinal purposes. They have fruits which are edible, but mostly without merit, although in some species the seed kernels constitute excellent nuts. These have a normal flavour, without the heavy fragrance of sandalwood, which would be unwelcome in a food.