Ginger – not just about redheads

Ginger quotes and jokes are often linked to fair-haired humans or cats. But this isn’t a blog about redheads or pets. I’m a tea lover and ginger is definitely a must in our kitchen since I discovered its pungent and sharp aroma.

Associated with beer, asian foods and the Gingerbread man, the origins of this spice take us to Southern Asia. It’s use spread throughout the world and was extensively traded by the Romans. India and China are nowadays top producers. So why is ginger associated with herbal medicine and gastronomy? It is packed with vitamins and minerals that make it an incredibly healthy food substance. Ginerol, zingiberene and zingerone are the main chemical compounds that give ginger its unique flavour. The relief common cold symptoms may be instant. Also, it’s recommended for stomach upsets including morning sickness.

So back to ginger tea. I have prepared some with my Food Technology students at MCAST and here is what we’ve done step by step. First we peeled the ginger root, also known as rhizome, and grated it. Placed the grated ginger in a pot filled with water and brought it to a boil. In the meantime we squeezed some oranges. The squeezing of oranges was an activity in itself. A bunch of local oranges and imported ones have been confronted in terms of quantity of juice produced, quantity of seeds present, colour and flavour. Will be discussing facts about oranges & other citrus fruits in a separate blog.


Once the water started to boil, we cooled of the mixture and diluted it with some more water. Added the orange juice and garnished with a slice of lemon. Dilution is key to make ginger tea and it all depends on how sensitive your taste buds are to its spicy nature. To make it a bit sweeter, one can add some pure honey. Make sure that the tea is not too hot when you add the honey. This would spoil the natural ingredients in it.



Enjoy your cup of ginger tea



– Van Wyk B.E., 2013, Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World, The University of Chicago Press

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