Wild Ginger- Asarum Canadense WILD GINGER is a unique, hidden treasures of the deep woods that most Canadians might come across, but not recognize.
It has a rare complex and pleasing fragrance and flavour. You really have to smell it, taste it to know what I’m talking about. Scientifically, it does not belong to the ginger family at all, But once you meet it you’ll know immediately why it got its name. Not quite as “hot” as Asian Ginger, but more than makes up for bite in its complex spicy flavour, its aroma and taste give it extensive possibilities in an infinite number of dishes. As a tea, the ground rhizomes of Wild Ginger are delicious, help ease a sore throat, mix well with other stimulating and spicy tea herbs, fruit or Citrus peels. It is warming and stimulating, lovely in the winter and like regular Ginger it encourages good digestion and discourages flatulence. Native North American tribes have historically used it for medicine and ceremony. In the summer I add it to iced tea and Lemonade. Added to fruit or herbal wines, or if creating a real brewed Ginger Ale, there is nothing like it!
Wild Ginger complements rice dishes, wild mushrooms, (and regular ones), fowl, Venison, Beef, Lamb, Chicken etc., etc., anything really!! Incorporate it in roasts and stir frys, Casseroles and pasta dishes. Sauces and Salad Dressings. Coarsely grind some with Mortar and Pestle and throw it in a pot of rice. It will transform it. Each little piece will turn into a flavorful chewy delicious tidbit by the time your rice is cooked, adding not only fragrance and flavor but a unique texture to your rice pot A treat for the sense. , Wild Ginger offers infinite possibilities and delights in the kitchen anywhere regular Ginger is called for. Candies, cakes, cookies and confections are a very exiting area to explore.
The rhizomes make a wicked candied treat See BLOG RECIPE FOR CANDIED WILD GINGER, and the flavourful syrup from this process is perfect as a pancake or ice cream Syrup. If this Candied Wild Ginger is dipped in chocolate, I know of no other home-made confection that could compare. Ethically & sustainably harvested in small quantities. For the past 14 years I have taken care of forest plots of Wild Ginger growing “untended”. I harvest yearly in the fall and I have come up with some good ethical harvesting methods that strike a balance between bringing home a bountiful harvest, and leaving behind happy thriving plants. This allows me to harvest every other year or so, and come back to vibrant vigorous growth that shows barely a sign of my presence. Win win, we both benefit and do well from our relationship.
Wild Ginger Fall 2012 Harvest is ready now. Whole or ground. Fresh, fragrant and flavorful it is waiting to inspire and be shared. To learn more about Wild Ginger, visit my Blog post “Wild Ginger Flavourful, Fragrant Northern Treasure” Dan