Ginger is a delicacy, a medicine and a spice. It has a hot but fragrant flavor. And lately I’ve seen it popping up everywhere in Bologna. In bars I see ginger infused teas, candied ginger on top of chocolate desserts, and in gelaterie even ginger gelato.
But for my family it’s nothing new… my dad used to chew on raw ginger and of course we also make a ginger drink called tangawisi.
View our video which shows you how we like to make it.
Tangawisi is a medicinal drink from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The basic recipe is raw grated ginger boiled with water and there are a variety of additions: orange slices, mango tree sap, sweeteners. Basically it is used as a preventive potion against number of ailments and many attribute aphrodisiac qualities to this traditional drink.
Ginger is indigenous to southern China and most associated with Chinese cuisine … I wanted to highlight just a few examples of other places in the world where they use this marvelous root.
In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari. It is also made into a candy called shoga no sato zuke.
In Indonesia a beverage called wedang jahe is made from ginger and palm sugar.
In the Philippines it is a common ingredient in local dishes and it is brewed into a tea called salabat.
In Vietnam the fresh leaves, finely chopped, can also be added to shrimp-and-yam soup.
In the Caribbean ginger is a popular spice for cooking, and making drinks such as sorrel during Christmas, ginger beer (a carbonated beverage) and also Jamaican ginger cake.
In Indian cuisine, ginger is a key ingredient, both vegetarian and meat-based dishes. Ginger also has a role in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, and ginger snaps.
In France a ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac.
In Greece on the island of Corfu a traditional drink called tsitsibira is made.
In the United Kingdom a ginger flavored wine is made and traditionally sold in a green glass bottle.
So no matter how you use it, ginger is a super star ingredient!