Marja-Leena Rathje
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oh ginger



So humble looking, this fresh gingerroot, yet so tasty in so many ways as a delicacy, as medicine, and as a spice. Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. The etymological origin is from Tamil: inji ver. So that's where its Finnish name inkivääri comes from, I always wondered. I also did not know that turmeric and cardamom are members of the same plant family, all are favourites in my kitchen.

Marja-Leena | 15/12/2011 | 15 comments
themes: Nature, Photoworks


Oh my goodness! This is a decidely "adult" post.

Joe, it is spicy, isn't it? Maybe that's why the kitchen is such a desirable place to be in, where all the senses are teased.

If you are going to do a series, better get some galangal! And yes, it is rather erotic...

Marly! I had never heard of galangal before seeing it mentioned as part of the ginger family. Have you had it? Though common in Southeast Asia, I'm surprised at the mention of its use as African-American folk medicine and hoodoo folk magic, and as flavouring in a Polish vodka. How spices got around! Erotic? how very naughty of that gingerroot....

I'm thinking of my next beer recipe ...

Rouchswalwe! Ginger Beer? I'll be right over!

It's a spice I love and one my husband can do without. Some tastes simply can't be changed and must be borne. They are lovely scans ♡

I want to grow ginger in the future garden, this spring.

Susan, my husband too, and a couple of daughters don't like the raw ginger, even stir-fried, so I add mine after cooking or in tea, etc. They do like the dried spice though. My weakness is candied ginger or chocolate covered ginger. And glad you like the scans!

Zhoen, I've tried to start ginger from sprouts (trimmed off the rhizome) on the windowsill without luck so far, so one has not yet made it into the garden. Good luck in your new home and garden, that's exciting for you!


Yes, I have had it in Thailand and Cambodia... And one place we stayed in Siem Reap had a little display of fruits and spices scattered on a table--a little ad for a cooking class that required getting up early and going to market with the cook, something I wish my husband had done! He being the main cook around here. It's a very different color, sort of orangey-brown, and the ones I handled were much smaller than ginger.

Marly, how interesting to travel to those countries and taste different foods, and how great that your husband is the main cook too! Is galangal available where you are (or here, I wonder)?

PS you mentioned 'series' in your first comment here.... actually I've done a lot of scans and photos in the kitchen over the years... if interested and have the time, check out the PhotoWorks>Nature theme on the left. There are a green globe squash, purple potatoes and garlic, cucurbita, stinking rose, cabbage leaves, onion skin, sensual pomegranate....

Easy to confuse - on the basis of appearance alone - with Jerusalem artichokes. But whereas the latter provides the basis for the most divine soup on God's earth, a variant based on ginger would I suspect prove a grave disappointment.

Lorenzo! You've piqued my interest in that soup and the Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke, which looks more tuber like and dark in the photos I've seen. I'm not sure I'd know one if I saw one, nor have I tasted it. Sounds like comparing a vegetable to a spice. Ginger would flavour a soup but not be the main ingredient.

Did you know that the Big Island of Hawaii is a major source of ginger? I use a lot of it.

Hattie, yes, I knew that, lucky you! I wonder if it is exported a lot to the mainland or where most of the ginger sold here comes from?