Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family of flowering plants and it is related to turmeric and cardamom. (1) What we refer to as ginger is actually the rhizome, or fleshy root, of the plant; this is what is packed with the zesty, spicy flavour that tastes so good in all kinds of foods and drinks. (2) Ginger’s characteristically hot flavour comes from a number of bio-active compounds, including the volatile oils shogaol and gingerol. (3)
In South-East Asia, ginger has been used since ancient times, and over the centuries its popularity spread across the Mediterranean to England and on to Mexico. (2)
Roughly ten months after sowing, the roots of the ginger plant are dug up, cleaned and then dried. (2) Ginger is usually harvested in autumn, meaning that the main planting season is in spring.
Each rhizome has its own, distinctive shape and, depending on the variety, can differ vary in colour from dark yellow to light brown.
The variability of ginger’s looks are fully equalled by its sheer versatility: there are so many ways in which ginger can be used, from sweet to savoury.
Did you know that you can easily dry ginger in the oven and then grind it to make homemade ginger powder? Fresh ginger powder adds a lovely kick to your cooking and baking recipes. (4)
And that’s not all: you can also dissolve the powder in hot water to a make delicious ginger tea. Alternatively, you can also peel the root, roughly chop it and leave it to steep in hot water.
Here’s our top tip if you’re struggling to peel ginger without wasting too much: try using a peeler or a spoon! To keep your ginger fresh for longer and make it easier to use, you can also freeze it. (5)
Ginger root contains around 2% essential oils which can be extracted from the rhizome. (2) As an aromatic component or flavouring, the oils pack a spicy punch and add zing to many foods, including our delicious RAWBITE Lime: the zesty freshness of lime harmonises beautifully with the hint of heat from the ginger.
By the way: for more about why some spices go together so well, check out our story about flavour combinations.
Enjoy every Bite.