root is used extensively as a spice in many if not most cuisines
of the world. Though called a root, it is actually the rhizome of the monocotyledonous plant Zingiber
roots are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked
as an ingredient in many dishes. Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry.
The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in Chinese cuisine to cover
up other strong odors
and flavors such
as in seafood
is also made into candy, is used as a flavoring for
cookies and cake, and is the main
flavor in ginger ale, a sweet, carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage.
Western cuisine, ginger
is traditionally restricted to sweet foods, such as ginger ale, gingerbread, and ginger snaps
(a type of cookie).
dry ginger is used to add spiciness to gingerbread and other recipes.
It tastes quite different from fresh ginger, and neither can be substituted for
is grown throughout the tropical areas of the world.
The most expensive and highest quality varieties generally come from Australia, South India,
and Jamaica, while most mass market
ginger is grown in China.
research has shown that ginger root is an effective treatment for nausea caused by motion sickness, morning sickness or other
illness. Ginger root also contains many antioxidants. Powdered dried
ginger root is made into pills for medicinal use. Chinese women traditionally
eat ginger root during pregnancy to combat morning
sickness. Ginger ale and ginger beer have been recommended as "stomach settlers"
for generations in countries where the beverages are made. Ginger water was commonly
used to avoid heat cramps in the United States in the past.
(Zingiber mioga Roscoe) appears in Japanese cuisine; the
flower buds are the part eaten.
plant in the Zingiberaceae, galangal, is used for similar
purposes as ginger in Thai cuisine. Galangal is
also called Thai ginger.
dicotyledonous native species
of eastern North America, Asarum
canadense, is also known as "wild ginger", and its root
has similar aromatic properties, but it is not related to true ginger and should
not be used as a substitute because it contains the carcinogen aristolochic acid. This
plant is also a powerful diuretic, or urinary stimulator.
It is part of the Aristolochiaceae family.