ginger stepsGinger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems about a meter tall bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Ginger is indigenous to southern China, and was spread eventually to the Spice Islands, other parts of Asia and subsequently to West Africa and the Caribbean.[2] Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade.[2][3] India is now the largest producer of ginger.[2]

Other members of the family Zingiberaceae include turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.[8] Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine, which has been made commercially since 1740.

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