Did you know that ginger is in both pumpkin pie and in curry?
Ginger is interesting. When fresh, it’s sharp and spicy with a zing, but more mellow and somewhat sweeter when cooked. Dried ginger also has a reputation for being somewhat sweeter than fresh ginger root.
While its flavor can be somewhat adaptable, ginger has a very distinct smell. It’s pungent. It smells sharp, like lemon and pepper.
How to Consume Ginger
Ginger is rarely eaten by cutting it off the root and taking a bite. While it is safe to do this, eating ginger in this way is fairly intense. It’s very spicy with a pepper flavor.
Usually, ginger is consumed as a spice in meals, as a tea or candied.
This is probably the most common way to eat ginger. Ginger chicken is fairly popular. When you are consuming ginger as a spice or condiment, you will probably use it as a sauce or glaze.
You can then either marinate your chicken in the sauce before cooking or add it afterward. Try this in case you have leftovers.
Ginger tea is as easy to make at home as it is to buy in the store. And since ginger root is fairly inexpensive, it’s easy and convenient to have it whenever the mood strikes.
A mug of ginger tea is warm and spicy with a slight sweetness to it.
To make your own ginger tea, simply peel and chop some ginger root. Bring it to a boil along with some water. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
Strain out the ginger pieces and enjoy your tea! If you’d like you can add some honey or lemon slices.
Candied ginger is chewy with a spicy sweetness to it. Its texture is a little chewier than gummy bears.
With candied ginger, you still get the benefit of the ginger, but now you get the added benefit of having it for dessert!
Sweet and Spicy
One of ginger’s defining features is that it has an uncanny ability to make sweet dishes better, by adding a peppery spice. A perfect example would be ginger hot chocolate.
We love hot chocolate. It’s warm, rich, sweet, and of course, chocolatey. But have you tried it with ginger?
Adding that little bit of spiciness helps to balance the sweetness and add a wonderful warm flavor.
How Long Will Ginger Last
Now that you know all about how ginger tastes, how does it keep? Different types of ginger need to be stored in different ways. Make sure you store them properly to maintain the taste of your ginger.
Storing your ginger unpeeled and uncut is best. Keep it wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. if you store your ginger properly it can last for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
This will help to keep fresh ginger peppery longer. The longer it stays in the refrigerator, the softer and less sharp-tasting it becomes.
If you buy your ground ginger from the grocery store, the spice can last between 2-4 years. Just be sure you keep it closed properly.
You can tell your ginger isn’t good the moment you open it. While good ginger is immediately potent, bad ginger will have a weak or nonexistent smell. It won’t harm you if you eat it, but it won’t really make your food taste better either.
Candied ginger that you purchased from the store should have an expiration date on it. You can eat candied ginger past this date and it won’t make you sick. However, you won’t be able to appreciate the spicy sweetness, as it will lose its flavor.
Generally, candied ginger can last almost as long as ground ginger. If stored properly, it can last 2-3 years.
To Sum Up
Ginger is unique in that it’s spicy when fresh, but somewhat more mellow and sweeter when ground. This makes it an ideal ingredient in finding that perfect blend between sweet and spicy.