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Question about Ginger Root

h
HolySoldier613 Jan 13, 2009 08:28 PM

i bought some ginger root on December 22nd of last year and put it on top of the fridge after i bought it cause i thought id use it soon. but it has sat on top of the fridge since then. do you think it is still good? im looking to use it soon. but when i opened it, the bag had a weird fruit markety smell to it. so can someone plz tell me if its still good thanks

  1. k
    kali_MM Jan 14, 2009 10:31 AM

    I've heard that the best way to store fresh ginger is by sticking it into the soil, whether outside, or a handy potted plant.

    Can anyone corroborate this?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kali_MM
      Caralien Jan 14, 2009 10:53 AM

      that may work, but then you'd have to clean the dirt off of it each time, instead of simply peeling and using.

      1. re: kali_MM
        x
        xanadude Jan 15, 2009 07:24 AM

        It may start growing again.

      2. HaagenDazs Jan 14, 2009 05:16 AM

        "Good" is relative. I wouldn't use it if it's dried up and shrively and soft. It likely won't hurt you but ginger is a strong aromatic and the quality of your finished dish might not be as good as it could have been.

        15 Replies
        1. re: HaagenDazs
          alkapal Jan 14, 2009 05:23 AM

          if it is dried up it won't be soft. the aromatic quality may not be as pungent, but it is still ginger-y. i had a similar situation just three days ago (but my ginger was hard), and minced the ginger to bump up some tj's masala simmer sauce. slice some....you can smell how strong it is easily.

          1. re: alkapal
            HaagenDazs Jan 14, 2009 08:12 AM

            I meant semi-dried... loss of moisture. I'd have to be pretty hard pressed to use a knob of ginger if it had dried up to the point where all moisture was lost and it was truly hard and dry but that's beside the point.

            The cost of ginger is so low compared to whatever else I plan on cooking, so I'd just buy more.

            1. re: HaagenDazs
              alkapal Jan 14, 2009 08:15 AM

              i agree. i was stuck, and i needed fresh ginger right then -- even if it was a little old -- it was still pretty pungent though.
              ginger is one thing i try to always keep around, along with garlic, green onions and cilantro. i can go asian or indian!!!

              1. re: alkapal
                paulj Jan 14, 2009 09:25 AM

                Think about where they get ground ginger! It is possible to buy whole dried ginger, for example on the racks of Mexican spices.

                Dried ginger is different from fresh, not worse, not better, just different.

                1. re: paulj
                  alkapal Jan 15, 2009 05:03 AM

                  i'd only use dried, ground ginger in baking.

                  1. re: alkapal
                    Caralien Jan 15, 2009 05:06 AM

                    Really? I use fresh ginger even in baking, unless we're out and snowed in. Fresh ginger+orange peel sugar cookies. Yum.

                    1. re: Caralien
                      alkapal Jan 15, 2009 05:11 AM

                      that sounds good. do you dip half in dark chocolate? (i love orange-chocolate combo....) did you see my cookie-palooza thread? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564196

                      1. re: alkapal
                        Caralien Jan 15, 2009 05:26 AM

                        The last time I made them, they were the size of quarters, based on the recipe from the Fannie Farmer cookbook. I split the dough into plain, ginger orange, peppermint and shaved chocolate. I really should get back into making cookies, something I haven't done in way too long!

              2. re: HaagenDazs
                thew Jan 15, 2009 05:34 AM

                funny thing is that most of the top quality ginger in the world is dried before it is sold

                1. re: thew
                  HaagenDazs Jan 15, 2009 05:40 AM

                  Funnier still is that there is a very significant difference between powdered ginger and fresh ginger. If you want to add a third kind that has it's own distinctiveness, there's candied ginger.

                  The point here is that we're not talking about dried and ground ginger, we're talking about a forgotten piece of produce that's been sitting on top of a fridge for 3 weeks. There is no comparison between an old wrinkly piece of fresh ginger and a bottle of the powdered stuff.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs
                    thew Jan 15, 2009 06:33 AM

                    there isn't? no comparison at all? dried ginger is just that, dried wrinkly ex-fresh ginger. do they taste exactly the same? not exactly. but there are certainly comparisons to be made

                    btw -not all the dried ginger is powdered. i have a jar of dried ginger that is unground in my cabinet right now. It is very common in asian pantries and markets.

                    if it dries on your fridge, or dries in a dehydrator it is still dried. as long as it isn't moldy, it's still fine to use.

                    1. re: thew
                      HaagenDazs Jan 15, 2009 06:41 AM

                      There's a comparison to be made in that all ginger products originate from one source, but dried ginger is a prepared and is used in certain and different ways than fresh ginger. You buy it or create it (say in an at home dehydrator) for certain purposes. When you buy fresh ginger to use it in say a stir fry and forget about it, depending on the degree of "old-ness" you can't use it for that same application and expect it to have the same flavor, taste or aroma.

                      I understand that there are different products and they all originate in the same place but think about what the original poster is asking about. I go back to my original stance that we're not talking about dried and/or ground ginger, we're talking about a forgotten piece of produce that's been sitting on top of a fridge for 3 weeks. They didn't buy fresh ginger and think, "hmm, maybe I'll let this sit out for 3 weeks and then I see what I can use it in." They bought it to use it in it's fresh form and then simply forgot about it. If you want to talk about dried, dehydrated, powdered, or ginger in a form other than fresh, start another topic.

                      1. re: HaagenDazs
                        thew Jan 15, 2009 10:09 AM

                        and as i finished my post
                        "...as long as it isn't moldy, it's still fine to use."

                        1. re: thew
                          HaagenDazs Jan 15, 2009 10:29 AM

                          Good point. I remember the last time I ate something I left out for 3 weeks and it got moldy. Just didn't quite taste right.

                          1. re: HaagenDazs
                            Caralien Jan 15, 2009 10:33 AM

                            but the dog loved it! :)

          2. scoopG Jan 14, 2009 03:01 AM

            Agree with alkapal. Also for future purchases, the more the shiny the ginger skin is, the fresher it is.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scoopG
              alkapal Jan 14, 2009 04:41 AM

              good point about that young skin!

            2. alkapal Jan 13, 2009 09:04 PM

              sure, you can use it.

              most likely it is dried out, and thus will be tougher and harder than when fresh. mince it quite fine after peeling, or just grate it (and this removes the "fibrous" issue). you can use it sliced in hot tea....good for the lungs!

              fyi, in future, buy the younger, smaller ginger -- easier to use.

              5 Replies
              1. re: alkapal
                Caralien Jan 14, 2009 05:22 AM

                You can also freeze ginger and grate it frozen with a microplane. Peeling the outside with a spoon (hold round part with thumb in indention) is the easiest method with a fresh piece.

                If you happen to have too much, put it into a chopper and blend; for longer keep, add a pinch of sea salt and a neutral oil to keep in the refrigerator in a small jar (alternatively, add habaneros and garlic to the mix to top rice, add to a stir fry or eggs...)

                1. re: Caralien
                  jgg13 Jan 14, 2009 11:05 AM

                  Good advice. I came across the spoon technique but never thought to "reverse" the spoon, that'd likely be easier. Never thought to use the microplane on the frozen ginger.

                  1. re: jgg13
                    Caralien Jan 14, 2009 01:40 PM

                    used 3 nights ago for the roast beef marinade--perfect (and no chunks to get stuck between my teeth!)

                    1. re: Caralien
                      jgg13 Jan 14, 2009 01:44 PM

                      I only recently got off my lazy butt and bought a microplane. I swear, I'm starting to question what *can't* it do :)

                      1. re: jgg13
                        Caralien Jan 14, 2009 02:23 PM

                        frozen blue cheese atop baked or roasted potatoes...

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