What is Ginger?

Zingiber officinale L.

Family: Zingiberaceae 

Ginger is the finger-like rhizome (underground stem) of the species Zingiber officinale in the monocotyledonous family, Zingerberaceae, together with cardamom, galangal and turmeric. The rhizome is usually referred to as a root.

Production of Ginger 

India produces about half the worlds production of ginger. Other notable producers are Nigeria, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Thailand. (WIKI)

Ginger Plant

By Sengai Podhuvan [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Ginger plant: the ginger plant is a herbaceous perennial with a long pseudo stem up to 1m (100cm) high.

Fresh ginger has a beige flesh covered with thin tan skin. It should be peeled before being used.

Ginger Flavour

Ginger Flavour: the flavour is pungent and aromatic due to presence of a non-volatile compounds, gingerols. The aroma and flavour and level of pungency of ginger varies depending on the cultivar, origin and growth conditions, and stage of harvest. (The Penguin Companion to Food)

Ginger can be used fresh in grated, sliced, pounded or paste form, or dried and ground into powder. The flavours of fresh and dried ginger are quite different. It’s also used in candied or crystallized form or as a syrup.

Ginger can also be processed to yield an oil used for flavouring beer and ginger ale (The Penguin Companion to Food)

Ground Ginger

Ground Ginger: is used in biscuits and cookies, cakes, gingerbread, ginger nuts, ginger snaps, parkin, Dutch Speculaas

It’s also used as an ingredient in spice mixtures or seasonings for example: Tea Masala, curry powder, Moroccan seasoning, Cajun herb and spice blend, or to make herbal teas.

Fresh Ginger 

Fresh ginger: is an important ingredient in Indian cuisine, where it’s used in pounded form or as ginger-garlic paste. It’s used to cook vegetarian and meat dishes.

Ginger is used in many cuisines to cook vegetables, meat dishes, fish and seafood. it’s used in stir fries ((sliced form), in curries, dals, soups, stews, marinades, fruit salad dressings, sauces, chutneys, pickles, fresh salads, curry pastes.

Fresh ginger can also be used to make tea. Ginger tea in Kashmir. Ginger can also be used Fresh or dried to make Tea Masala together with cardamom pods, black pepper and cinnamon sticks.

It can be used in sweet dishes for example Jamaican ginger cake,

Fresh young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy and mild tasting and can be pickled in vinegar or sherry and eaten as a snack or can be cooked.

Fresh ginger used to produce a drink Khing Sot in Thailand, ginger wine, candy

Jamaican ginger is used to make a ginger liqueur.

How to Store Fresh Ginger

Wrap fresh ginger, airtight, in usable quantities and store in the freezer. it will keep for months and there is no need to thaw it before use.

Closely related species

Zingiber mioga also known as Shoga or Japanese ginger. It has a milder taste and is used fresh or pickled. It’s grown in Japan.

myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: September 20, 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

6 thoughts

  1. You can dry ginger as well (I do). It stores easily & adds the punch you really want in recipes, vs that canned stuff. Re-hydrating your dried ginger is very easy, & the flavors are quite intense. Don’t use old ginger, it shouldn’t be as hard as a piece of wood, & should be juicy.

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