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how do i recognize
fresh ginger?

Emperor Shen Yung, whose reign began in 2697 BC, and
who, as the Yellow Emperor, was the first ruler of a country
which was later to become China, has in a codex, which as one of the
oldest medical treatises, as the first the numerous
documented beneficial effects of ginger.

He divided medicinal herbs and medicinal plants into three classes: the servant class, the minister class and the king class. He called the king class medicinal herbs and medicinal plants that can be taken over a longer period of time and that, in addition to their therapeutic effect in the event of illness, also have important properties to prevent illness and preserve vitality.

For him, ginger was one of the most important medicinal plants in the premier class.

The premier class

Ginger thrives in the humid tropical climate found in many parts of Southeast Asia, China and India. In Europe it is not so easy to buy ginger, the freshness of which is actually top class. Even in otherwise well-stocked supermarkets, there is often a small basket at the edge of the fruit and vegetable section containing a few sadly shriveled ginger bulbs.

It is worth looking for a retailer where you can buy fresh ginger bulbs.


1. Green / Yellow Ginger

The ginger plant matures nine to ten months before harvest. If it is harvested after five months, it is called green ginger. This ginger has far fewer fibers, is mild and aromatic. Sometimes thin shoots protrude from the ginger rhizome. It is in this form that it is most commonly used in cooking in Asia and Africa. If you see this fresh ginger in the shop, grab it, because it tastes great and is only very rarely available in this form in Europe.

If harvested later, one speaks of yellow ginger, which has developed much more heat.

2. Degree of freshness

Fresh yellow ginger has a mostly smooth, parchment-like light brown skin. The bulb feels crisp in the hand and feels heavier compared to older, long-dried ginger. The fresh ginger root has not yet developed that many shoots and cannot be dented.

Even older ginger can still be used, it just contains fewer active ingredients.

3. Country of Origin

Ginger is grown in many countries with subtropical climates. Interestingly, the ginger used to make medicines comes mostly from Jamaica.

In the Singapore Botanical Garden you can admire 560 different ginger plants and the differences in aroma, depending on the country of origin, are large. According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, China has been the largest exporter of ginger in recent years.

See Also

When asked whether my local greengrocer also gets his ginger from China, he answered with conviction and a little taken, as if it were a question of honor: “We take great care to source ginger from Peru and would give you ginger never offer them in China because a few years ago residues of pesticides were detected in ginger from China that were above the permitted maximum levels.”

This commodity is not of concern to the average consumer, according to experts, but why take that risk with an herbal remedy that you’re buying for its health benefits?

4. Sources of Purchase

The growing popularity of ginger and the associated increasing number of imports to Europe make it possible to buy ginger in more and more places: in the supermarket, at the greengrocer, in the Asian market or at the weekly market.

Once you’ve found a source that gives you fresh ginger, and possibly even certified organic, stick with them and reward yourself and your source with high sales of ginger. This is how you promote a fresh, high-quality supply of ginger. Ginger goes well with many dishes, it is an important component in the aroma elixir and every freshly squeezed juice gets a healthy kick with ginger.

5. Storage

Ginger keeps well in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for two to three weeks. Ideally, ginger should be stored in a linen cloth or paper. If it is stored in plastic, mold can develop in damp areas. Ginger can be frozen, but stick with Confucius, who is said to never eat food that didn’t contain ginger.

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