Ginger is an edible rhizome of the tropical herb Zingiber officnale. It is gnarly and has papery skin with pale greenish to yellow to ivory flesh. Ginger’s origins are so old that it can not be traced back. However, is is known as a vital ingredient in Chinese cuisine during the Chou period, 1200- 221 BC. It was revered as a symbol of purity. The word ginger comes from the Sanskirt word for “horn root.” Ginger also was a staple of the Confucian diet. Ginger made it’s way through Europe, most often in the dried form during the Mid Eastern trade routes. By the 14th century, ginger was very popular. Columbus brought ginger to Jamaica and the West Indies. The flavor of gingerroot can be described as spicy. It is good for the digestive system. There are two different types of fresh ginger root: young, and mature. Young or spring ginger has thin, pale skin. It does not need to be peeled. It is tender and has a mild flavor. Mature ginger has tough skin to preserve the delicate flesh. The longer the ginger matures, the more fibrous and spicy it will be. Items that are commonly made with ginger are gingerbread, ginger snaps ginger ale, ginger beer, and pickled ginger. Pickled ginger is served to cleanse the palate to complement the flavor of both fresh raw fish and vinegared rice. Another common member of the ginger family is the galangal. It has a peppery and citrus flavor.
Ginger’s Pairings carrots chicken chocolate fruit gingerbread ham ice cream melon onions pork pumpkin rice tomatoes Gingery Gingerbread 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 1 large egg 1 cup molasses 1/2 cup finely grated fresh ginger 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour 1-1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1/2 ground cloves 1 cup hot water 1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg molasses, beating until blended. Add fresh ginger, beating until blended. 2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with hot water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition; beat 1 additional minute or until very smooth. Pour batter into a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. 3. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, remove from pan,and cool completely on wire rack. 4. Cut into squares; serve with vanilla ice