The origin of Ginger Root is Maritime South-East Asia, and it proves to be an important part of South-East Asian people’s cooking. It has different uses in its different forms like fresh, dried, used as an oil or juice. Ginger root has a unique taste as its taste is described as pungent and hot. If we look into the chemical composition of fresh ginger, it might answer a lot of questions about its taste. Zingiberene makes up to 30% of ginger’s essential oil, thereby contributing to its characteristic flavor. Another compound found in ginger root that gives a spicy taste to it is the 6-gingerol compound. This is why ginger root is usually referred to using adjectives like spicy and fiery.
Why is ginger spicy?
Fresh ginger’s spice agent is the compound gingerol, which can also be found in cinnamon, nutmeg, capsaicin, and many others. It is responsible for the spice factor in these vegetables where the intensity is different in all of them.
Can you vary ginger’s spice level?
Ginger’s spice level depends on which state it is in. Because when ginger is dried or cooked, its chemical composition changes, resulting in both the level of spiciness and pungency being changed. The spice agent in fresh ginger, known as Gingerol (Chemical compound) is then converted into Shogaol (Chemical compound) when it is dried.
Shogaol has a spice level almost double that of gingerol. It is the reason dried ginger is used in different dishes to add spice to them. Now if we add heat to fresh ginger, its chemical composition again changes, resulting in gingerol transforming into Zingerone (Chemical compound). Zingerone is much less spicy than gingerol.
For example, when we cook fresh ginger, its taste becomes mild and the spice level also decreases. The taste of cooked ginger can be described as sweet and aromatic, which is why it resembles more the chemical combination of vanilla than that of Capsaicin (Chemical compound). The spiciness of ginger increases with time. Fresh and young ginger is more juicy or pulpy, has a thin skin and pale color whereas old ginger if compared to its previous form is more spicy, dry, and fibrous.
Ginger is used to dealing with a lot of health benefits like it helps relieve fatigue, cold, used to relieve digestive problems, and many others Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving characteristics and proves to be helpful in swollen joints. 6-Shogaol is known to be effective in relieving cough and has some anti-allergic properties.
We have used the taste altering the property of ginger to our use, as ginger is used in a lot of dishes because of its variety in taste. Ginger possesses a diverse set of properties and it is advised to make use of them as much as possible.