Ginger was first cultivated in China up to 5,000 years ago and has played an integral role in both Chinese Medicine and cooking for centuries. It spread to Western Europe in the ninth century and was so widely used that it became a kitchen staple, alongside salt and pepper.
Today, ginger is an important ingredient in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and many South Asian cuisines. It’s also known to enhance the flavor of everything from cookies and bread to beer and tea.
Many people tout the potential health benefits of ginger. It contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols and could be used to remedy nausea and motion sickness. Plus, it’s known for its potentially powerful cleansing effects and ability to help your body better absorb nutrients and minerals.
A member of the Zingiberaceae family, along with cardamom and turmeric, ginger has a peppery and slightly sweet flavor. Its pungent aroma mellows with cooking and turns bitter if burnt.
Do you have a favorite way to use and cook with ginger? Let us know in the comments below!