The Top Tip For Picking Out Fresh Ginger

At first glance, it's hard to believe that fresh ginger is edible, let alone tastes good, and is beneficial for your health. Native to Asia, ginger can help reduce nausea and swelling, per WebMD. It's also used to treat stomach ailments, as well as health issues such as diabetes, menstrual cramps, and migraine headaches. While ginger may first have been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine (per a 2011 study in Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects), it eventually became equally known for its flavor and was incorporated into meals. Now, ginger is available in many forms: raw pieces of root, ground, crystalized, and pickled. 

When purchasing a piece of fresh ginger, remember that it's more potent than the powdered or ground version found on your grocery store's shelf (via Martha Stewart). After it's peeled, you can slice or grate it and add it to your recipe. It can be hard to envision the end result when you are standing in the produce section looking at a mound of ginger root, but with the help of this tip, you'll be able to pick out the best piece for Thai coconut soup or chicken stir fry.

It's all about the skin

When it comes to selecting a piece of ginger root, it's good to be picky. As you choose a piece of fresh ginger, Forks Over Knives says it's all about picking the piece with the best skin. Fresh ginger should have firm, smooth skin and it shouldn't be too thick, you should be able to remove some of the skin by scraping your fingernail against the ginger. If the skin is too thick, the ginger will be harder to prepare and it's also a sign that the ginger has been sitting in the produce section for a bit too long.  

Another common dilemma when buying ginger is it is often sold in large pieces, but it's acceptable to break off what you need because it's sold by the pound. Breaking off a piece of the root is another good way of determining if it's fresh or not, according to Seasoned Kitchen. If the piece breaks off easily and cleanly, then it's fresh. So, the next time you find yourself in the produce aisle staring down a container brimming with big pieces of ginger, remember it's okay to be highly selective in order to find the piece with the best skin and the right size for your needs.