Ginger -

In its commercial form, is the root-stock of the Ginger plant, a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, three to four feet high, which grows freely in moist places in all tropical climates. The root is gathered when the stalk withers and is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, in order to kill it and prevent sprouting. The former method, applied generally to the older and poorer roots, produces Black Ginger; the latter, gives White Ginger. The natural color of the "white" scraped Ginger is a pale buff - it is often whitened by bleaching or liming, but generally at the expense of some of its real value.

White Ginger of the first grade should be large, light-buff throughout, soft and even in cutting and of strong characteristic flavor. The present supply comes chiefly from Jamaica, the Malabar Coast of India and the East Indies. "Cochin" and "Calicut" are titles borrowed from the two Indian cities of those names.

African Ginger is dark, but has an excellent, strong flavor. "Borneo" Ginger is merely a former trade term for some white Ginger - none is exported from Borneo.

Japan Ginger, usually blanched or limed before shipment, is of fine appearance, large and smooth, but is much inferior in strength to the other varieties mentioned.

Preserved or Conserved or Canton Ginger consists of young green roots boiled and cured in syrup and put up in pots and jars. The principal consumption is of the imported Chinese product, but there is an increasing sale of West Indian.

Crystallized Ginger is also made from the younger roots. The best grades, from roots selected for uniform size and appearance, are called "stem Ginger."

Other well known articles which have the root, or extracts from it, as a foundation are Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer, Jamaica Ginger (an alcoholic extract of the root) and Ginger Tea.

Medicinally, Ginger - as Jamaica Ginger, etc. - is a grateful stimulant and carminative, being much used for dyspepsia, colic, etc. It is also frequently employed to disguise the taste of nauseous medicines. Ginger Tea is an old-fashioned remedy for colds.

"Switchel" is a summer drink, once very popular in the haying fields, made from Ginger, molasses and water, with a little vinegar added to give it acidity.

U. S. Standard Ginger is ground or whole Ginger containing not less than 42% of starch by the diastase method; not less than 46% of starch by direct inversion; not more than 6% of crude fibre; not more than 8% of total ash; not more than 1% of lime, and not more than 3% of ash insoluble in hydrochloric acid.

U. S. Standard Limed or Bleached Ginger is limed or bleached Ginger containing not more than 10% of ash; not more than 4% of carbonate of lime; and conforming in other respects to Standard Ginger.

Arround Ginger in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Ginger Ale

The Grocer's Encyclopedia
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