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Meet the Gingers
Chinese Yellow Ginger
Meet the Gingers, the first ginger that we will introduce is the, yellow ginger root. It is the rhizome (stem-root) of the common ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). Ginger is a perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family and there are many species in this group. Ginger root is a thick fibrous rhizome that clumps together and stems out in various directions. In fact, the name “ginger” comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘horn-root.’ The yellow ginger root is covered by a thin brown skin that can be scraped or peeled before consumption. Older yellow ginger root is drier and stringy. Fresh ginger root has a strong aroma and spicy pungent taste. Ginger is best grown in zones 9-12 and it does very well in areas that contain partial shade. Chinese ginger is used in the Ginger to Remember Original Ginger
As its name suggests, baby ginger is just a younger version of common ginger root. This type of edible ginger has a white color and the rhizomes are not as fibrous. One of the differences between baby ginger and mature ginger root is the taste. Baby ginger is much milder and less pungent than yellow ginger. It is also the freshest type of ginger you can buy. In fact, it is so fresh that you may be able to buy baby ginger with the stalks still attached. The mild ginger taste of baby ginger makes this variety great for pickling or adding to stir-fries.
Blue Hawaiian ginger root is an edible type of ginger with a unique taste. It has a yellow core and a blueish tinge through the rhizome. Native to Brazil, this type of ginger plant can grow up to three feet in height and has beautiful, shiny green leaves. When in its immature state, the roots of blue ginger look just like any kind of ginger plant. As the rhizomes mature, they take on distinct blue and purple hues. As with all types of edible ginger, Blue Hawaiian ginger intensifies in flavor and pungency as it matures. It is an ornamental plant that is easy to grow and it cannot be directly in the sun because it will burn. The ideal temperature for growing Blue Hawaiian ginger is between 60ᵒ and 80ᵒ Fahrenheit and it does best if you fertilize it regularly
Thai black ginger, Thai ginseng or krachai dum, is an herbaceous plant in the family Zingiberaceae, native to Thailand. Black ginger is not really black in color and looks almost the same as common ginger except with a real dark purple core in its rhizomes. It has a different flavor than normal ginger. It is earthier in its flavor with a spiciness and heat to it, but much more subdued than common ginger. Round to oval medium green leaves sprout out of the rhizome with a height of about 30 to 40 cm. Bracts surround the flower clusters and from the shady middle grow white calyx with purple coloring. The flowers start growing at the beginning of spring. Black ginger has been used as a vitalizing and stimulating herb for centuries and has been the subject of increased scientific interest in recent years. Since this species has been degraded in the wild, the locals started to grow it in their home gardens. Black Ginger is an important plant in traditional medicine for several treatments as well as food supplements. Best when grown in zones 8-11, the black ginger needs moist but well-drained soil and a lot of shade.
Ginger is a vegetable with medicinal and culinary properties widely cultivated in Southern and Southeastern Brazil. Brazilian ginger is spicier and more flavorful than the common Chinese yellow ginger. The blue grain in the ginger may suggest that the product is no longer edible, but it is a typical feature of Brazilian ginger. It indicates the presence of the most powerful source of protein-splitting and protein-digesting enzyme of whole nature called Zingibain. Due to this enzymatic effect, this ginger extract can be of great value in the support or improvement of digestion. Zingibain also has an anti-inflammatory and resistance-enhancing effect.
African Ginger (mainly from Nigeria and Sierra Leone) is a deciduous plant with large, hairless leaves, developing annually from a small, distinctive cone-shaped rhizome. The spectacular flowers appear at ground level in early summer. African ginger is usually considered to rank third in quality; it exhibits a coarser flavor and darker color than the Jamaican and Cochin types. African ginger is more full-bodied, with a strong camphor flavor. Nigerian ginger is highly regarded in the international market for its quality and high medicinal value. Specifically, its aroma, pungency, and high oil and oleoresin content are other distinct features of ginger products from Nigeria. It is used to produce essential oils and oleoresin. In Nigeria, ginger root is mostly used to produce herbal medicines and to spice up foods in homes. They can be found in almost every local market in the country as either dried or fresh Globally, Nigeria has the 2nd largest production share of about 16% after India with a production share of 33.9%
Cochin ginger and Calicut ginger are the popular Indian ginger varieties in the world market. The Cochin ginger from the state of Kerala, India, ranks second in quality globally to Jamaican ginger. It has a characteristically pleasing lemon-like aroma, a clean and gentle flavor, is deliciously sweet, with a fine velvety texture and light brown color, and is sometimes preferred over the Jamaican ginger. Calicut ginger, also from Kerala, is only a geographical variant of Cochin ginger.
India is the largest producer and consumer of ginger contributing about 31% of total global production followed by China, Nepal, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Thailand. India produces 6,83,000 tons of ginger per annum which is almost 1/3rd of the world’s total production.
Jamaican ginger is considered to be the finest grade, having the most delicate aroma and flavor. Ginger grows well on many types of soils in Jamaica. The best results come from clay loams with a good supply of organic matter. The crop cannot withstand waterlogging. The major ginger-growing areas are 450-900 meters above sea level, in the hilly areas of central Jamaica, where the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon, St. Ann, and Trelawny meet. A 10-mile radius around Christiana in Manchester, Jamaica was identified as the region which grew the finest ginger in the world. The Christiana region was prized because the soil and climatic conditions were especially suitable for the growing of ginger. Once positioned as one of the top three ginger producers in the world along with India and Sierra Leone during the 1930s to 1960s, Jamaica’s ginger output has since drastically declined due to insignificant levels of global production of just over 2 million tonnes, despite its quality reputation. Ginger Rhizome Rot (GRR) disease has for years devastated production across the island and even caused many farmers to stop ginger production altogether. The disease has been so prominent that, between 2015 and 2018, Jamaica’s ginger production dropped by almost half
Ginger, also known as kion in Peru, is known for its bold and robust flavor. Peruvian ginger is organic with excellent quality. It is rich in antioxidants and has medicinal benefits. Peru cannot compete with China when it comes to price, but the quality of Peruvian ginger is far superior. The Peruvian variety has become a preferred type because its ginger has a better and more intense taste, color, juice, is packed with vitamins and nutrients, and the extra kick it carries with its spicy flavor. The ginger is 100% free of chemicals. Peru technically has organic ginger year-round, but its production is from June/ July to December. After January the product is usually shipped by air or in very limited volume by sea due to the rains.
White’s ginger or Mondia whitei is not in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, but a perennial herbaceous/woody climber belonging to the family Apocynaceae. Mondia, as with most members of this family, has milky latex. The bitter-tasting roots grow from a tuberous rootstock that has a ginger or licorice taste and an aroma reminiscent of vanilla. Two species of Mondia are recognized, the other being Mondia ecornuta.Known in some localities as ‘gondolosi’, in Kenya, it is known as ‘mukombero’, the rootstock is often collected for medicinal use. It occurs at elevations of 1000 – 1500 m in moist to wet forests, and even in swampy grassland, across Sub-Saharan Africa; it is recorded in Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Angola