Ginger is one of the earliest spices known in Western Europe. Although often called “ginger root” it is actually a rhizome. It is available in whole raw root (fresh ginger) and dried roots.
The ginger plant requires a consistently warm and moist climate, brilliant sunshine, and heavy rainfall. The harvest begins nine months to a year after planting, when the stalks begin to wither. The rhizomes are twisted and dug up carefully with a hoe. These ‘hands’ are then cleaned, washed, scraped, boiled, peeled carefully with specially designed knives and dried in the sun for about eight days. Ginger is a soil-exhausting crop, requiring heavy fertilization, so when possible it is grown in rotation with other crops.
Ginger is available whole, sliced, cracked and ground.