is used extensively as a cooking ingredient or spice
cuisine and others. It is part of mainstream western
food in ginger ale and desserts
such as gingerbread
snaps (a type of cookie). Though generally called
"root", it is actually the rhizome
of the plant Zingiber officinalis.
Young ginger roots are
juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often
pickled in vinegar
as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes.
Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry. The juice
from old ginger roots is extremely hot and is often used
as a spice in Chinese cooking to cover up other strong
odors and flavors such as in seafood and mutton.
Ginger is also made into
candy, is used as a flavoring for cookies and cake, and is
the main flavor in "ginger ale", a sweet,
carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage.
Dried and powdered ginger
is used to add spiciness to gingerbread and other recipes.
It tastes quite different from fresh ginger, and they can
not be substituted for each other.
Ginger is grown
throughout the tropical areas of the world. The most
expensive, and highest quality varities, generally come
while most mass market ginger is grown in China.
A related plant known as Galangal
is often used for similar purposes in Thai