Ginger

Native to tropical Asia, ginger is a rhizomatous perennial to about 90cm high, producing many fibrous leaf stalks sheathed in alternating lanceolate leaves. The plump rhizomes, known as ‘hands’ are pale yellow when freshly dug. The yellow flowers, with purple lips and green bracts, are arranged in dense, club like spikes. They are followed by fleshy, three valved capsules. The spring shoots and flower buds of myoga ginger are popular in Japanese cuisine, and cassumar ginger is used in South East Asia.

220px Ginger in China 01 Ginger

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Ginger grows best in rich, moist well drained soil and requires warm temperature to sub tropical conditions. Grow ginger by seed or from rhizome segments, cut so that each segment contains one or two buds. Remember to keep the soil moist.

For fresh culinary use, dig up the rhizomes in late summer or early autumn. If drying, do so about 10 months after planting.

Young ginger is tender and sweet, with a spicy, tangy, warm to hot flavour. Older ginger is stronger, hotter and more fibrous. Japanese ginger is widely used as a sushi condiment. In Asian, Caribbean and African cuisine, ginger is an essential ingredient in curries, stews, soups, salads, pickles, chutneys, marinades, stir fries and meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Fresh ginger’s uses are mostly savoury; crystallized ginger is used in baked goods, or eaten on its own as confectionery, often sugar coated.

Dried ginger is hotter than fresh ginger. Ground dried ginger is used in baking and in commercial spice mixtures. Both ground dried ginger and ginger essential oil are used in commercial food flavouring, while ginger extracts are used in cordials, ginger beer and ginger ale.

If you are going to use essential oil in your kitchen, remember to make sure it is organic!  I sell a lovely range of essential oils that I use in my kitchen.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy
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About Tandy

I am passionate about regional, sustainable and seasonal produce. I live in Gordons Bay in a cottage with my husband, our three dogs, a tortoise and a fish. We are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year we visit a new place to experience the food of the area.

Comments

Ginger — 18 Comments

  1. I’m going to cut off a chunk of that fresh ginger and try to root it. Thanks for the pointer towards this article, Tandy! xx

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  2. Pingback: Friday’s Food Quiz Number 13 | Lavender and Lime

  3. I love fresh ginger a lot & use it in my Asian cooking, my baking in muffins & in soups, etc.

    A lovely post, Tandy & thanks! :)

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  4. I simply love when you post facts about spices that I love. I really love ginger but don’t eat it enough. And I absolutely enjoyed this read

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