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Question about Ginger Root

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

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  1. 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

      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

        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

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

          1. re: Caralien

            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

              frozen blue cheese atop baked or roasted potatoes...

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: scoopG

        good point about that young skin!

      2. "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

          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

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: alkapal

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                1. re: thew

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: thew

                          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.

          2. 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

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