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Ginger paste brands

ZenSojourner Aug 19, 2010 07:35 PM

I use a LOT of ginger when cooking, and the convenience of the ginger paste is something I don't want to do without.

Recently though I bought some ginger paste at an Indian grocery and when I opened it, I was met not with the wonderful aroma of ginger, but with a strong chemical smell. The brand was "Tulsy" and I'm pretty sure I've never seen it before. Typically I don't pay any attention to the brand of what is, in my kitchen, a staple, but it looks like I'd better start. And I'm throwing this stuff out. It smelled so strongly of chemicals I'm pretty sure I don't want to risk cooking with it.

So if anyone would care to share their experience with good/bad brands of ginger paste, I'd appreciate it.

And for the purists among us, yes, fresh ginger is always best, but I'm actually not currently in any shape to be standing at the kitchen counter grating ginger in the quantities I normally use it. I still use fresh ginger when it's really much more appropriate than the paste (for instance, for Pad Gai King), but right now I need to rely more on the ginger paste.

Thanks.

Sojourner

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    hummingbird RE: ZenSojourner Aug 19, 2010 08:39 PM

    Not sure if this is what you might be looking for but I have somethingi in my fridge called ginger spice blend from:

    www.gourmetgarden.com which is made for Botonical Food Co from Ca, but it says made in Australia which I buy in the regular supermarkets in the produce isle.
    I also have a ginger spread from Trader Joe's, but I think that was discontinued and haven't checked recently to see if they brought it back.

    I will cook with either of these, but I'm using it when I'm cooking fish for my husband, either of them always smell very gingery, but since I'm not eating the dishes, I can't vouch for the true tase.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hummingbird
      paulj RE: hummingbird Aug 19, 2010 11:03 PM

      The sweet Ginger Spread that Trader Joe's carried is from The Ginger People. I've bought with the GP label at a health food store, and it probably can be found Whole Foods or the like. Obviously it is not a direct substitute for fresh, but it's still handy to have around, if for no other purpose than to put some bite into your PB&G sandwich.

    2. alkapal RE: ZenSojourner Aug 20, 2010 06:14 AM

      i don't recall seeing the tulsy brand. right now i'm using "laxmi" brand. http://www.amazon.com/Laxmi-Ginger-Pa...
      don't buy from amazon, though. it is way overpriced! see, look here at an indian food site from new jersey: half the price!!! http://gingerfresh.com/jersey/index.p... -- that's around the right price for that size. it keeps well in the fridge, though, if you want a larger jar at a better per unit ounce cost.

      gourmet garden is handy, but very expensive compared with indian ginger paste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alkapal
        JungMann RE: alkapal Aug 20, 2010 06:29 AM

        I've used Laxmi, but more often we'd have Swad.

      2. coney with everything RE: ZenSojourner Aug 20, 2010 06:26 AM

        If you can find it, Spice World fresh ground ginger is good stuff. The stores that I know of that have it carry it in the refrigerated produce section (it has to be kept refrigerated even before opening). After it's been opened it lasts for months.

        I've found it at Kroger in my area, as well as a local grocery chain.

        4 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything
          paulj RE: coney with everything Aug 20, 2010 08:56 AM

          I have bought whole dried ginger from the Mexican spice rack at various stores. I grate it the nutmeg grater.

          1. re: coney with everything
            ZenSojourner RE: coney with everything Aug 21, 2010 07:29 PM

            I've seen Laxmi and Swad. Both are well known brands that should be carried at one of the two Indian groceries nearby. Spice World is also a well known brand, though I've never seen the ginger you're talking about - given I've never looked for it in the refrigeration sections. I'll look for it.

            The Tulsy brand I'd never heard of or seen before. I guess that should have been a warning to me. I'll try to stick to brands I'm familiar with from other products. I just grabbed the first jar of ginger paste I saw on the shelf without thinking, I guess. It was near the end of my shopping trip and I get physically worn out pretty quickly, so I guess I was in too much of a hurry and not paying attention as I usually would.

            Thanks for the input. I will be replacing this stuff the next time I'm up that way, hopefully Monday.

            1. re: ZenSojourner
              JungMann RE: ZenSojourner Aug 23, 2010 06:00 AM

              I would not say that this experience should limit your desire to explore new brands and foods. I would have never discovered Hyderabadi pickles by Ahmed or tasty Maggi tomato sauce if I were shy about exploring the unknown brands in my grocer's aisles.

              1. re: JungMann
                ZenSojourner RE: JungMann Aug 23, 2010 09:50 AM

                Actually I've heard of both of those. I've been shopping Indian markets for about 30 years now though so there are many, many brands and foods in that cuisine with which I am familiar. So if I see something made by a company I've never heard of before it's probably a good indication that buying it could be risky. Given the choice between a known high-quality brand and something I've never heard of, if I'm paying attention, I'll go with the brand of the known quality.

                That's not to say I'd never try something new, but we're talking staples here.

          2. alkapal RE: ZenSojourner Aug 23, 2010 02:53 PM

            when shopping, i look for brands that show up in many different kinds of food products around the same store. good sellers, breadth of product line are little "pointers" to how i should pick one from a bunch of unknowns.

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