Ginger conjures up images of twisting tendrils of aromatics from warming autumnal brews. An earthy being this spicy root is a base for many dishes in Asia and West Africa and it wasn’t until the internationally savvy Romans started to trade with India that ginger arrived in Europe.
In the 4th century when Rome fell, ginger too fell out of fashion. It returned to Europe in the 12th century when the merchant and explorer Marco Polo bought it back from his travels along the Silk Road. India, to this day, is still one the biggest exporters of ginger exporting over 170 million kgs of ginger a year. China topped the charts in 2021 at almost 500 million kgs exported.
So what does this well loved, exotic and fiery spice have to offer us when we are cooking with it?
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