Many of us have a small container of ground ginger hidden in the back of our cabinets that we pull out once or twice a year to make armies of gingerbread men. But trust us, there’s more to ginger than the (probably) expired spice being ignored January through October. Ginger adds a fresh punch of flavor to a variety of dishes—and has anti-inflammatory properties to boot.
Kali Dick, Farmers Market of the Ozarks market manager, says you should look for ginger with shiny, taut skin “The ginger skin should be thin and never thick and fibrous,” Dick says. “You should be able to easily nick the skin with you nail.” Selecting the perfect knob is important for getting home and adding a few grates to stir fry or sauces, but let’s not forget where it all started: the farm. “Ginger loves shade, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity and rich, moist soil,” she says. Since we have several months of cold weather here in Missouri, Dick says that most farmers that grow year-round move their ginger into high tunnels or greenhouses to avoid frost and soggy soil. You can find fresh ginger at Farmers Market of the Ozarks, other markets and regional grocery stores.