Ginger is a very beneficial root for our health and we can use it in the kitchen to enrich and give more flavor to our dishes. Let's find out then the culinary uses of ginger!
Properties and virtues of ginger
Ginger is a perennial herbaceous plant native to tropical Asia. The most used part of the plant is the rhizome which has a particular lumpy shape, hence its name, which in Sanskrit means "cone-shaped". The aromatic root of ginger is full of beneficial properties for our organism and there are three different types; white ginger, which is decorticated, and black ginger with peel, which is partially decorticated.
Ginger has digestive properties, it helps against nausea and stomach ache, it lowers bad cholesterol, it helps eliminate intestinal gas, it deflates belly and improves blood circulation also relieving rheumatic pain, headache and toothache. In addition, ginger is very good for weight loss thanks to one of its main components, gingerol, which provides thermogenic properties; ginger in fact, inserted in a healthy diet, helps to lose weight and burn fats, as it stimulates heat production. Ginger and lemon are a winning combination for our well-being, if we take them every day they bring many benefits to our organism.
How to use ginger in the kitchen
Let's find out how we can use ginger in the kitchen; the different types, taste and culinary combinations to enhance the flavor of this aromatic spice and how to store it.
How many variants can we find?
How many types of ginger can we find? First of all, ginger can also be bought at the supermarket, where you will find it fresh in the fruit and vegetable department, otherwise you can buy it in powder, dried, pickled or candied, depending on the use you need to make. The most recommended variant in the kitchen is the fresh root of ginger because it keeps intact all its beneficial properties, giving even more flavor to our dishes.
What does it taste like?
Ginger has a slightly spicy and pungent taste, certainly a very intense taste. However, its spiciness does not last long as it happens with chili, but it fades after a few seconds. Thanks to these characteristics it is ideal for flavoring sweet and savory dishes, and to be used also as seasoning. Ginger can be used to give a particular taste to jams and creams, which will also give an intense and unique scent, or to flavor liqueurs and ice creams.
How to combine it?
Among the spices that can be accompanied with ginger we find cinnamon, an excellent combination for flavoring tisanes, cakes and creams as well as the famous Swedish biscuits, Pepparkakor, especially sold at Christmas time. Other spices to combine with ginger are nutmeg, pimento and cardamom. Ginger gives a unique taste even to honey, chocolate and sugar. Regarding savory dishes, ginger is a component of the curry and it is excellent when combined with meat, fish, vegetables but also added to soups and sauces.
How to store it
Fresh ginger can be kept in the refrigerator for two or three weeks, keeping it well protected from moisture; then wrap it in a cloth and place it in a plastic bag. Alternatively, you can cut it into small pieces and store it in the freezer; in this case it can also be stored for several months.
Dried ginger, powdered, but also candied and crystallized, can be stored in the kitchen in a dry place and away from moisture and light.