Spices have been part of commercial trading over land and sea for centuries, an ancient and precious symbol of social status and as leverage in commercial negotiations on a par with gold and salt.
Refined notes for fragrances, exclusive ingredients for food and drinks, spices have always been a part of the food and non-food market.
The link between Livorno’s historical centre and its port of excellence for all commercial trading, and the experience of those who have dedicated their lives to these incredible ingredients, is the starting point in the history of Webb James, who since 1793 have been importing and producing a vast catalogue of spices. At the historic headquarters in Livorno, it receives, validates, re-processes, stores and distributes numerous variants of spices and aromatic herbs.
These days, Garzanti Specialties and Webb James have decided to work together, thanks to a distribution agreement that involves food (with a particular focus on ice cream), feed, and nutraceutical sectors. The history of spices, the knowledge, passion and competence of Webb-James are combined with the ubiquous network, customer dedication and both technical and market knowledge of Garzanti Specialties.
Today we will tell you some interesting facts about ginger.
Legend has it that as early as the 16th Century the fame of the Asian spice’s aphrodisiac properties had spread around the world, enough to attract the attention of Nostradamus, who dedicated time to the study of a love potion based on ginger, cinnamon and other spices.
Ginger is a zingiberal and belongs to the same family as turmeric. Widely used and known, it is one of the few spices that has always had great success both in the East and in the West, not only for its pungent and characteristic aroma, but especially for the potential benefits for which it is renowned.
The active ingredient is concentrated in the root (rhizome) and it was their digestive qualities that made it possible to gain a large space in the texts of traditional oriental medicines. Both in traditional Chinese medicine and in Indian Ayurveda, ginger is linked to the fire element and as a result it is used to combat the so-called water states and the physical discomforts that can follow.
The fortune of ginger continues and today it is used extensively in the nutraceutical sector, thanks to the rhizome rich in gingerols, of which the main one is the 6-gingerol which also gives ginger its aroma.
Ginger grows in a tropical or subtropical climate, preferring high temperatures (19-28°C) and high humidity. When the temperature drops below 15°C, the plant stops growing. It is not a plant that is particularly resistant to external parasites and encounters significant problems from bacteria, nematodes and fungi. This is also relevant for when selecting the dried and pulverized raw material, as it is therefore essential to carefully validate its quality.
Like chilli, ginger is used in mass consumer industrial products as well as in family cooking. When you use it fresh, it is always better to peel it, then cut it into thin slices, or grate it, or crush it in a mortar. It should be added at the beginning or at the end of cooking, in both sweet and savoury dishes. Together with turmeric and red onion, it represents one of the three life roots of Ayurveda.
For further informations, please contact Giordana Pagliarani: