Ginger is a tropical flowering plant, originally grown in Southeast Asia but is now widely cultivated worldwide. It is classified as a member of the ginger family, making it a close relative of turmeric. The scientific name of ginger is Zingiber medicinal, which is believed to be derived from the spice’s Sanskrit name.
Leafy plants grow up to three feet tall and produce clusters of green and purple flowers. The root of ginger is also used as a spice or a therapeutic aid. It is harvested by pulling the entire plant out of the soil, removing the leaves, and cleaning the roots.
How To Store Ginger
Do you have an ingestion issue? Or are you a person suffering from high blood pressure? If so, you can eat ginger. Also, ginger is used as a key flavoring component in many cuisines. Because of its wide usage, different methods are implied to store ginger so it may last longer.
Storing at room temperature is the best option if you plan to use all ginger within one week of purchase. Just place it, unpeeled, on your kitchen shelf or pantry and use it as per your need.
Try not to peel the vegetable, or it may get spoiled early. Unpeeled ginger may go dry and is not feasible to use in your dish. Only wash ginger when you are supposed to use or the moisture absorbed will affect the vegetable’s taste.
On a domestic scale, storing ginger in the refrigerator is the most preferred method. Storing ginger in the refrigerator goes on with the same practice when stored at room temperature. i.e., do not wash and do not peel. Ginger has a sharp smell and may affect the vegetables in the refrigerator. It is suggested that you purchase or store only desired quantity which you can use in a week or two.
Ginger is a commonly available vegetable with longer shelf life, but it is preferred to freeze this vegetable in the off-season or distant markets. There are different ways to store fresh ginger in your freezer to make it last longer.
You can soak it in alcohol! Just put the peeled ginger in your favorite liquor, such as vodka or whiskey, and place the container in the freezer. You can also freeze it by placing the vegetable directly in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Ginger
Yes, ginger can be frozen. There are different practices to freeze ginger. One can put it in alcohol and place it in the freezer. The low freezing point of alcohol does not allow it to freeze and can make it last longer.
Ginger is a powerful digestive agent, so some medicines require the juice of the ginger, which is extracted and then frozen, to use throughout the year.
In some places, people make a paste out of it and store it in cubes. These cubes can later be used directly in your cooking pan. Usually, you can find ginger paste in commercial freezers in your nearest shopping marts.
How Long Does Ginger Last
Ginger has a long shelf life, but its expiry depends on the environment and storage you keep it in. At room temperature, ginger can last for about 1 – 2 weeks approximately, if not peeled.
Refrigeration is the best way to store ginger. But how long does it lasts in the refrigerator? If the conditions are favorable, it will typically take a month for ginger to get spoiled. Washing the vegetable can reduce its survival time by about 70% than usual. So wash it only when you are about to add in your favorite meal.
Freezing your vegetable can make it last for a couple of months, even until the next harvest. Typically, it can last for about 6 – 8 months. On the other hand, freezing in alcohol makes it last for about two months only because of the very low freezing point of alcohol.
How to Tell If Ginger Is Bad
Though it lasts longer than regular vegetables, it still does get expired and shows signs from which we can save ourselves from consuming one. Below are some signs you can look for before using ginger.
- Appearance: If you see some small spots of mold, it’s time to remove the ginger. Due to mold, ginger will lose its nutritional value and rot quickly. The ginger may show signs of dryness.
- Smell: Sometimes, the skin can still look normal, and you think that ginger is perfectly fine. However, by smelling the flesh inside, you can determine whether the ginger has gone bad. Generally, the smell of rotten ginger is not as strong as ginger.
- Texture: Another reliable sign is a change in texture. If ginger becomes soft or mushy, throw it away. Apart from its benefits, consuming expired ginger can cause many digestive-related issues.
What does Ginger Look Like?
The rhizomes of ginger have a very firm, rough, striated, and knotty texture. It has different varieties, and the color of its flesh varies based on its variety. It either comes in red, yellow, or white color. The white color is a prominent one. It is common and almost found everywhere. Besides, it has light-brown and cream-color skin. The skin is either thin or thick, depending on its type and its maturity. It also has dry, powder, oil, and juice forms. You will also find ginger paste which is a common thing nowadays.
Where does Ginger Come From?
Ginger comes from Southeast Asia. The plant ginger was first planted in that region by the Austronesian people. Afterward, the plant was transported to other regions of the Indo-Pacific during the expansion of the Austronesians and reached Hawaii, where people began large production of Ginger. Eventually, Europeans, ancient Romans, and Greeks also began using this spice, and the trade began. Besides, Asia is considered one of the top exporters of ginger since the old times. While in the language of botany, Ginger comes from the plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family.
How is Ginger Made?
For making Ginger, you should look for a proper place for planting its plant. Once you are done with it, you can begin planting the seed called rhizomes. Make sure to treat the seeds before you plant them. Then, take a plowed or dug to break the soil, then make water channels. The best season to plant Ginger is before the monsoon. Once you plant the seed, take proper care to ensure better growth. Then, you can begin harvesting it once it reaches the growth stage. You can use fresh ginger or dry it. For drying it, put it under sunlight. You can also use dry Ginger to get the powdered form of this spice.
What Does Ginger Taste Like?
Ginger tastes somewhere between sweet and peppery. Its flavor also resembles garlic. Ginger is warm, a little spicy, and powerful in taste. Besides, this spice also has a nice aroma with a slight touch of spiciness and pungent.
How is Ginger Used in Cooking?
While cooking, you should always fry it a little brown. Never burn it; otherwise, the taste will turn bitter. You can add it along with onions. Putting Ginger directly on the food is not a good idea because of its strong taste. It is better to fry it in oil before adding other ingredients.
What Types of Cuisines Use Ginger?
Ginger is used in a wide range of culinary cuisines and drinks. It has high usage in Indian, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines. This spice is used in vegetables, curries, soups, meat, seafood, Bar B Q, and much more. While in western cuisines, Ginger is used in cookies, bread, and preserves. You will also find large amounts of drinks that use Ginger, especially Ginger tea.
What is a Ginger Substitute?
Ginger has four main substitutes. These are allspice, mace, cardamom, and cinnamon. However, making the right combination of these ingredients is highly important otherwise, the taste can be completely different from Ginger.
Where to Buy Ginger?
Ginger is a common spice. It is easily available in shops. Therefore, you can find it anywhere around you. However, for high-quality Ginger, you must search few shops. But we are saving you from work. We have picked some best Gingers to buy. These products are listed below.
- Nature’s Way Premium Herbal Ginger Root, 1,100 mg per serving, 240 Capsules
- Natural Ginger Tummydrops (Resealable Bag of 33 Individually Wrapped Drops) Certified Oregon Tilth USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, GFCO Gluten-Free, and Kof-K Kosher
- Naturevibe Botanicals Premium Organic Ginger Root Powder (1lb), Zingiber officinale Roscoe | Keto-Friendly | Non-GMO and Gluten-Free
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