Ginger is a spice (also, former spice girl and one of the shipwrecked on Gilligan’s island) that has made its way around the world. It is believed to have originated in India (or China according to some sources) and with trade and empire-building has travelled from the Orient to Greece then Rome and Britain. It was brought to West Africa by the Portuguese, to East Africa by the Arabs and to Mexico and the West Indies by the Spanish. Ginger is now found in several cuisines around the world. These days and at this time of year you are likely to see it in various baked gingerbread creations.
Ginger is obtained from the rhizome, or root, of a flowering plant and it is through the rhizome that the plant is propagated. For more on one of my favourite spices, check out the Weal Food archives: