In the run-up to winter, let’s talk ginger! As the weather grows colder, there’s nothing like a little spice with countless properties for starting the chilly months with a bang. Of course, many of us enjoy ginger throughout the year! We took a closer look at this plant that has been consumed for thousands of years for its benefits and positive effects.
Ginger, a plant of Eastern origins
Ginger is a perennial plant originally from India, and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family along with turmeric. Mainly grown in tropical regions, it thrives in sunny places with the right level of humidity. Ginger was one of the very first Eastern spices imported to Europe and is now consumed more than ever, both for its taste and for the benefits it provides.
A spice with a bite
Did you know? Ginger root is the part of the plant we use most – also known as the rhizome, which refers to the subterranean stem of certain perennial plants. It can be harvested quite early and consumed fresh when it has sweeter, lighter flavors. The ginger rhizome then dries later in the season, making it perfect for grinding into powder and offering a more pronounced taste. While ginger may look a little like a strangely-shaped potato, its flavors are entirely different! It offers refreshing, citrus notes topped with spicy, slightly fruity hints.
What are the properties of ginger?
A plant famed for its benefits
Ginger contains vitamins but also a lot of minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium. It is renowned for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Needless to say, it is one of the most-used plants in phytotherapy and natural medicines such as Chinese traditional medicine and Indian Ayurveda. What’s more, its benefits increase when combined with turmeric (as is often the case with spices).
Different ways to enjoy ginger
A chef’s favorite
While the West has long considered ginger as an iconic ingredient in Indian and Chinese cuisines (particularly in sauces), there are now countless dishes that use it. Whether candied (or even dipped in chocolate), fresh, powdered, grated or ground, this spice lends a unique twist to sweet delicacies (think gingerbread) savory creations, meats, fish, rice, and vegetables.
Delicious ginger tea!
Ginger is one of the spices that goes brilliantly with tea. It is delicious when combined with other spices such as cinnamon and cardamom, and matches particularly well with citrus fruits including orange and lemon. Try it and see for yourself!
And of course, ginger is also one of the star ingredients in Tsarevna, the legendary Christmas tea by Kusmi. This enchantingly fragrant, indulgent blend features a black tea base with organic orange peel finished with natural vanilla and almond flavors and a medley of delicious spices. The ideal drink at festive gatherings or while curled up by the fire with a good book.