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Ginger

 

Ginger or ginger root is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family (Zingiberaceae). Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The distantly related dicots in the Asarum genus have the common name wild ginger because of their similar taste.

 

Ginger cultivation began in South Asia and has since spread to East Africa and the Caribbean.

Ginger

 

Uses

 

Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice. Young ginger rhizomes 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. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine which has been made commercially since 1740.

 

Mature ginger rhizomes are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent[6] and is often used as a spice in Indian recipes, and is a quintessential ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and many South Asian cuisines for flavoring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.

 

Ginger acts as a useful food preservative.

 

Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of 6 to 1, although the flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.

 

Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of confectionery.

 

Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.

 

In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes such as fish, and chopped ginger root is commonly paired with meat, when it is cooked. However, candied ginger is sometimes a component of Chinese candy boxes, and a tisane can also be prepared from ginger.

 

Medicinal use

 

In China, ginger is included in several traditional preparations. A drink made with sliced ginger cooked in water with brown sugar or a cola is used as a folk medicine for the common cold. "Ginger eggs" (scrambled eggs with finely diced ginger root) is a common home remedy for coughing.[citation needed] The Chinese also make a kind of dried ginger candy that is fermented in plum juice and sugared, which is also commonly consumed to suppress coughing. Ginger has also been historically used to treat inflammation, which several scientific studies support, though one arthritis trial showed ginger to be no better than a placebo or ibuprofen for treatment of osteoarthritis.

Ginger

 

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger