Well known for its contribution to exotic Asian cuisines, ginger can brighten up traditional dishes such as roast pork and apple crisp.
Uniquely able to both subtly blend in and to stand out, ginger has very few limitations. It is a savory aromatic - one that can be sauteed in oil, simmered in liquids and stirred into sauces - while having the rare quality of also belonging in drinks and desserts.
Ginger is an herbal remedy that can be infused into broths and warm elixirs, and unlike something like thyme or kefir lime leaf, it integrates naturally into sweets such as cookies, cakes and ice cream. The spice has a worldwide appeal with dried ginger being used to spice beer and season foods.
It's an essential ingredient in Moroccan spice mixes as well as Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. It was a primary spice in colonial America as well and was used in breads, cakes and cookies.
But dried ginger from the supermarket is often made from inferior fresh ginger and can be lacking in potency. Fresh ginger, generally from Hawaii, is now in season. Look for it in your favourite grocery store and brighten up your winter meals.
Click here for more on choosing, storing and using ginger.
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