Although so named, ginger root in reality is not a root. It is actually a rhizome. The shape of ginger root is tubular. Originally it was found in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean, but it is now found all over the world. It is used for making a variety of dishes. It is used for baking cookies, cakes, pies, for seasoning, etc. It is known for its strong flavor, therefore it is used in very small portion in cooking. There are many health benefits as well. It is used for curing cold, cough, digestion problems, nausea, heartburn, and for pain relief. Many times, it so happens that we buy ginger root, but a lot of it is wasted, as we do not know how to store it. Given below are the effective ways of storing it so that it does not get spoiled.
Storing Ginger Root ...
... at Room Temperature
The best way to store ginger root for a short duration of time is to store it at room temperature. Most of us have the habit of placing most of things we get in the refrigerator. Placing ginger root in the refrigerator dries it out, due to which, its flavor is lost. Hence, after you have taken the portion required for your cooking, place the remaining ginger root in an aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the ginger root and fold both its ends, to seal it properly. Leave the ginger root in the kitchen itself. By using this method to store ginger root, you will be able to use it for as long as two weeks.
... in the Refrigerator
If you have bought ginger root in bulk, then you will have to store it in the refrigerator, so that it stays fresh for a longer period of time. Do not peel the skin. If you do so, it may lose its flavor. Hence, as soon as you have got the ginger root, wrap a kitchen paper napkin around the root. Place the wrapped ginger root in an air tight plastic bag. Now keep the plastic in the refrigerator. With this the root will remain fresh for about 2 months. If you want to store it for a longer time, then place the plastic bag in the freezer.
... by Drying
Ginger root can also be stored by drying it. Grate fresh ginger root with your cheese grater. Place the grated ginger on a cookie sheet. The next is an important step. The cookie sheet should be placed in a cool, yet dry place. Let the sheet remain there for 3 to 4 days, till the grated ginger has dried completely. Now you can place the dried ginger in air tight spice jars. This will ensure ginger remains fresh for as long as one year. Often dried ginger is used to make ginger tea, when fresh ginger is not available.
Choose ginger root with smooth skin and the root should be firm (that's an indication that the root is fresh). If the skin is wrinkled, then you may not want to buy it, as it has aged and is not suitable for storing.