Origin: India / China / Africa
Ginger is a store cupboard essential that lends itself to use in both savoury and sweet dishes. It is a popular spice in Asian cuisine; and can be added to soups, curries, jams, pickles, puddings, biscuits, breads and scones. Stir into marinades, dressings, sauces and dips. It works particularly well with chicken and fish and blends well with fruit and vegetable dishes. Ginger powder can be used to make the classic drink ginger beer; it can also be made into a tea to help relieve dyspepsia.
Ginger is an herbaceous perennial herb native to tropical Asia, though not found growing in the wild, and now cultivated in Latin America and Africa; it grows to a height of 1-1.5 metres. The alternate leaves are long, lanceolate in shape and dark glossy green in colour with a centre midrib and 10-20cm in length. The flowers are produced on green coloured bracts which often appear before the leaves, the flowers are yellowy-green in colour with purple lips and creamy blotches. Ginger is grown primarily for its aromatic rhizomes which are harvested and used in a variety of ways.