Ginger is the dried knobby shaped root of the perennial herb Zingiber officinale. The plant grows two to three feet tall. Once the leaves of the plant die, the thick roots, about 6 inches long, are dug up. Crystallized Ginger is fresh gingerroot cooked in syrup and dried.
Ginger is used in Indian curries, and Chinese, Japanese, and European spice blends.
China and India are the principal sources of Ginger. Crystallized Ginger is imported from Australia.
During the 15th century, gingerbread became a gift of love and respect. In the 1800's, Ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale, then stirred into the drink with a hot poker - thus the invention of gingerale.