Enjoyed in cuisines the world over for its warm, spicy-sweet aroma and flavor, ginger complements both sweet (think gingerbread) and savory (think stir fry) dishes. It's available in whole root, cut and sifted, powdered, and crystallized, so you can choose the perfect form for your perfect dish.
Botanical name: Zingiber officinale Roscoe
A perennial, tropical plant with aromatic, tuberous roots, ginger is one of over 50 species of the genus zingiber. While several of these species are cultivated for food use, the spice we know as ginger is Zingiber officinale. The rhizome, or root of the ginger plant, is the part we use as a spice. The candied rhizome of the ginger plant is sold as crystallized ginger, and dried ginger that has been ground is sold as ground ginger.
Ginger's warm, spicy-sweet flavor and pungent aroma are unmistakable. It's a universally popular flavoring that lends its name to three familiar foods - gingerbread, gingersnaps and ginger ale. It's also popular in stir-fries and sauces, and in spice blends like curry powder.
Used in a wide variety of sweet and spicy dishes, ginger blends well with many other spices. It's essential in Oriental cooking and especially prevalent in the cuisines of India, China, Thailand, Northern Africa, Japan and the Caribbean countries. Ginger wines are a popular wintertime beverage in England. In the U.S., ginger lends its hot, spicy flavor to condiments, relishes, pickles, beverages and all types of desserts.
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Directions: To substitute ground ginger for fresh, use 1 /2 teaspoon ground for each tablespoon fresh called for in a recipe.
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