It has an unmistakable shape – bulbous little joints, from which grow small, knobbly bumps. Its skin is light brown with a slight silvery quality. The flesh can range from ivory through to a pale, greeny yellow. Organic Ginger has a peppery flavour, with a sweet hint of lemon, and the aroma is pungent and sharp.
Fresh, unpeeled root should be wrapped in paper towels, placed in an airtight bag and refrigerated up to three weeks. It may also be tightly wrapped and frozen up to two months.
Fresh ginger is used in pickles, chutneys and curry pastes and the ground dried root is a constituent of many curry powders. Tender young ginger can be sliced and eaten as a salad. Sometimes the roots will produce green sprouts which can be finely chopped and added to a green salad. In the West, dried ginger is mainly used in cakes and biscuits, especially ginger snaps and gingerbread. Ginger is also used in puddings, jams, preserves and in some drinks like ginger ale and tea. Pickled ginger is a delicious accompaniment to satays and a colourful garnish to many Chinese dishes. Preserved ginger is eaten as a confection, chopped up for cakes and puddings, and is sometimes used as an ice cream ingredient.