Thirty-six images of Zingiber officinale, Ginger, ginger root, ginger rhizome, fresh ginger root, dried ginger root. Ginger is the dried or fresh root of a tropical member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, native to the Old World tropics. Fresh ginger and dried ginger are considered two different commodities. In fact, one author of an early ben cao (Chinese herbal) felt that they were so different that they must come from two different plants. The dried root is known as Gan-jiang. The fresh root is called Sheng-jiang. Dried ginger is first mentioned in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, attributed to the Divine Plowman Emperor, Shen–Nong, who lived about 5,000 years ago. It reached the West at least 2000 years ago, recorded as a subject of a Roman tax in the 2nd century after being imported via the Red Sea to Alexandria. By the 13th and 14th centuries it was familiar to English palates, and next to pepper, was the most popular spice. A pound of ginger was then valued at the price of one sheep. Ginger, as a product of the Far East, was indelibly imprinted on the taste buds of Westerners before potatoes, tomatoes, and corn were even known to exist by Europeans.
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