Ginger Love

February 5, 2008

With the start of the Chinese New Year (sometimes called the Lunar New Year) and the advent of Valentine 2008, we wanted to share some wisdom on an ingredient we love, Ginger:

These knobby, gnarled “hands” of creeping rhizomes, apparently originated over 3000 years ago in Southeast Asia or in Sichuan, China. Long a staple of Asian cuisines, ginger was well known to the Romans but nearly disappeared in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. It was Marco Polo’s trip to the Far East that lured this root back to the continent as one of the most coveted of the traded spices. Today, most ginger comes from Jamaica, India, Africa or China. Shopping Tip: Unfortunately, fresh ginger from China is an ingredient that was involved in a recall because of an illegal pesticide. Due to concerns, some stores (Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Whole Foods) have stopped selling ginger from China. Check the label before buying.

Food historian Toussaint-Samat wrote, “Within the stomach, loins and lung, Praise of hot ginger rightly may be sung. It quenches thirst, revives, excites the brain. And in old age awakes young love again.”  As a Valentine treat, we like these tender Ginger Buttons – hand-cut slices of crystallized ginger from the heart of the baby ginger rhizome. Eat them straight up, pair them with cheese, or use them to decorate a ginger martini. Also, consider dipping these intensely flavored bites in melted dark chocolate for a true aphrodisiac.

Recipe: Coconut-Ginger Sauce
A really quick and delicious marinade for chicken, fish, or pork.

Please check out some of the other gingery dishes we’ve featured on Loulies, including: Pork & Ginger Dumplings, Gingery Salad Dressing, and Fresh Orange Slices with Ginger-Yogurt Topping

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

suzannesimon February 12, 2008 at 10:01 am

We would like to clarify a few points regarding the reference to Chinese
ginger in the text of the e-bite. The fresh ginger that was recalled was
just that, fresh ginger found in the produce section. The finding of fresh
ginger containing the pesticide aldicarb sulfoxide was from the Juxian
Region of China, a region that also grows non-food crops, such as cotton,
which uses aldicarb sulfoxide pesticide.

The Ginger People source ginger from the premier growing regions of the
world, including China and Australia. Our Chinese ginger is grown on our
contracted farms of BiPo village in China’s Fujian province, the birthplace
of ginger. Twice yearly the company owners inspect these fields in person.
In addition, a significant amount of our fresh ginger is certified organic
by the USDA/NOP(United States Department of Agriculture / National Organic
Program). Our ginger is also Encocert – certified organic for the EU market.
Further quality inspection and testing, overseen by The Ginger People
Quality Assurance Supervisor, is conducted on all products in our warehouse.

Whole Foods Markets, known for maintaining the highest food standards among
grocery and food retailers across the country, continue to sell ginger
products from China verified as having passed stringent quality inspections.

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