Ginger is a common spice widely used in both European and Oriental cuisine. Ginger's multitude of health benefits have been used for centuries to heal the body and relieve digestive ailments. Ginger contains the minerals magnesium and potassium, vital nutrients in the human body. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer the savory side, ginger appears in enough of a wide variety of foods to tickle any type of taste bud.
A versatile spice, ginger is used in a wide variety of applications, from sweet baked goods to curried vegetable dishes. It is used fresh, pickled, fried, dried and ground to add flavor to sweet and savory foods.
In Colonial America, ginger was used in ginger ale and ginger beer to settle digestion and reduce diarrhea.
According to foodreference.com, ginger grows in many parts of the world, including parts of the United States, as well as Japan, China, West Africa and the Caribbean. The most highly regarded ginger is Jamaican ginger.
The flavor of ginger is spicy, sweet and peppery with a light citrus or lemon essence. Young ginger is prized for its delicate flavor and thin, edible skin.
The tough outer skin of garlic must be removed before fresh garlic is used in foods. Dried ginger is usually used in baked goods.
Ginger is added to curries, meat, fish and poultry. It is used to pickle, to marinate and to add flavor to baked goods. According to harvestwizard.com, common flavor pairings for ginger include apples, duck, bananas, honey, pork, soy sauce and sugar.