Just for clarity, when we say ginger facts, we actually mean the spice and not redheads. In this article on facts about ginger, we are going to learn about its nature, its name’s origin, uses and a few more interesting facts that you will need for your school project or simply for gaining knowledge. So, without further ado, let us begin…
Interesting Ginger Facts: 1-5 | Ginger Description
1. Ginger (Binomial name: Zingiber officinale, Species: Z. officinale) is a flowering plant and has widespread applications in folk medicine and as a spice.
2. Ginger is a herbaceous plant. Simply put, it lacks a woody stem. It is also a perennial plant, which means that it lives for more than two years. The stem of the plant grows once a year and reaches the length of about a meter.
3. The stem bears long narrow leaves that are green in color. Clusters of pink and white flower buds grow on the stem. These buds eventually bloom into yellow flowers.
4. Ginger is capable of surviving in warm climates and has a charming aesthetic appeal. This makes ginger a go-to plant for landscaping in certain subtropical areas of the world.
5. The underground stem (known as rhizome) of the ginger plant is what is used as spice. So, ginger that we consume is not really root. It is the rhizome.
Interesting Ginger Facts: 6-10 | Ginger Description
6. The rhizomes are gathered only when the stalk withers. Immediately after the rhizomes are gathered, they will be either washed and scraped or scalded for killing them so that sprouting doesn’t take place.
7. Ginger has a characteristic smell. This smell comes from some volatile oils that are present in the rhizome. In fresh ginger, the oil makes up 1-3% of the total weight.
8. When the ginger ages, the essential oil content of the ginger increases significantly. It is because of this, it is highly advised that essential oil should not be extracted from fresh ginger. One should allow at least 9 months of time since harvest for extracting essential oil.
9. Mature ginger rhizomes are nearly dry and they are fibrous. The young ones on the other hand are juicy, have a mild taste and are fleshy.
10. Ginger has a strong yet sweet and at the same time, woodsy smell. It is this characteristic smell that makes it an excellent choice as a spice in food preparation across the world.
Interesting Ginger Facts: 11-15 | Ginger Origin and Name
11. It is being said that ginger actually originated in form of ground flora in lowland tropical forests that are found in Indian subcontinent and southern Asia.
12. The word ‘Ginger’ in English originated somewhere in mid 14th century. It is believed that the word has been derived from the following sources:
|Prakrit (Middle Indic)||singabera|
|Sanskrit||srngaveram (which in turn is derived from srngam meaning ‘horn’ and vera meaning ‘body’ – that’s the shape of ginger.|
13. Ginger has many other names in various countries. For instance, people in Burma call ginger as ‘gyin’. In Thailand, people called it by the name ‘khing’.
14. Halia is the word for ginger that is used in Malayasia. Filipinos call it as ‘luya’.
15. In Arabic, ginger is known as ‘zanjabil’. ‘Gin gayu’ is the word for ginger in Middle East while ‘zangevil’ is the Hebrew name for ginger.
DID YOU KNOW, Ginger is actually the rhizome but it is often referred to as Ginger Root? So, the next time you hear ginger root, know that people are actually referring to the ginger rhizome.
Interesting Ginger Facts: 16-20 | Ginger Production and Uses
16. The largest producers of ginger are always from Indian subcontinent and southern Asia. According to Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT), the total ginger production in the world was ~ 2.2 million tonnes.
18. The top 10 ginger producing countries in world for 2014 are given in the table below:
|Country||Ginger production in tonnes|
|Taiwan province of China||34,735|
19. When it comes to uses, ginger root is primarily used as spice. In India, it is used in almost every type of gravy food items (both veg and non-veg variants). Outside cooking, ginger has widespread use in Ayurveda – the alternative holistic medical practice of ancient India.
20. There are many ways of using ginger in food preparation. It may not be used as an ingredient in food but rather used as a pickle. For instance, in Japan, one can always find Gari and Beni Shoga, which are nothing but ginger pickles.
Interesting Ginger Facts: 21-25 | Ginger Uses
21. Ginger is also processed in form of candies and can be easily found in China. If that isn’t enough, one can find gingerbread, ginger biscuits, ginger snaps, speculaas, parkin etc. in western countries.
22. Heard of ginger tea? It is a herbal tea that is often used for medicinal properties in alternative medicines in various countries of the world.
23. Then there is ginger wine! Yes, it literally is wine but it has ginger flavor. It is produced in United Kingdom. This ginger wine is sold in green glass bottles.
24. When it comes to uses for health benefits, there’s a lot to say. So, we will create a completely different article on ginger health benefits. But for now, know that traditional medical practices such as Ayurveda of India and traditional Chinese medicines, ginger has been used for curing problems like morning sickness, stomach upset, motion sickness, nausea, expelling intestinal gas etc.
25. Ginger is also used for making ginger beer by both Jamaicans and Greeks. These are basically traditional carbonated beverages.
Interesting Ginger Facts: 26-30 | Ginger Fun Facts
26. Did you know that during 13th century and 14th century, one could buy a sheep by paying with one pound of ginger?
27. When ginger slices are put in sweet vinegar, it turns pink in color. It is this pickled ginger that you can see in sushi in Japan.
28. Did you know that Europe came to know about ginger only in 800 CE. After that, ginger became the second ranking spice for several centuries. First position was taken by pepper.
29. Did you know that while Asians usually use ginger in regular cooking, Europeans usually make use of ginger as exotic flavoring in items like fruit salads, carrot soup cream etc. People in United Kingdom are known for using ground ginger as a condiment.
30. There is an island called Ginger Island. The only problem is that no one can cultivate ginger there are there are no inhabitants on the island.