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Ginger

Information about Ginger plus Ginger recipe collection

 

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June 

2001

 

      

Ginger is the common name given to the underground stem (rhizome) of  the perennial plant Zingiber officinale Roscoe.  It is chemically classified as an essential oil with pungent principles, and has been in use as a  flavoring agent worldwide for over two centuries, as well as for medicinal purposes as an anti-emetic (prevents vomiting in circumstances such as car sickness), anti-inflammatory,  analgesic and other properties relating to the well-being of the body.

Usually grown in warmer climates, ginger is often referred to by its country of origin e.g. Jamaican ginger, African ginger, and Cochin ginger (Chinese) and although  no-one really knows exactly where it originated from,  it has always been a prized commodity: in the middle ages a pound of it had the same value as a whole sheep!

Today it is widely available from food stores and grocers and is a popular ingredient for culinary purposes, especially in oriental cooking. It can be purchased fresh, dried, powdered, crystallized, preserved in syrup (also known as stem or candied ginger)  and even ready-grated in jars. The Editor has recently used the latter and upon tasting it "straight from the jar"  was somewhat dubious, finding it to be relatively insipid compared to fresh root ginger. However, once cooked the  flavour came out and made a reasonable substitute for freshly grated ginger but without such fiery quality. Comment: "Just use a little more".
 

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