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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Crystallized Ginger for a happier stomach

Late one afternoon last week, there was a bit of chatter in our sales department. One person challenged the group by asking, “Which of the more than 500 products we sell, do YOU personally buy at the supermarket?”

Interesting question. We sell so many crazy items, from Heirloom Tomatoes and Pine Nuts to Rambutan and Tofu. We’re so busy selling our specialty fruits and vegetables to retailers and foodservice distributors across the country, that sometimes we forget that we are consumers, too!

So, my coworker, Vicki came into my office and started telling me about her great experience with Frieda’s Crystallized Ginger. Vicki loves to go scuba diving, but has a tendency to get motion sickness. She was on a diving trip a few months ago and found that the crew had a large bag of Crystallized Ginger in the galley.

The captain told her that it helps people who get motion sickness! Ever since then, Crystallized Ginger has become a staple on her shopping list. And she packs it for every diving trip.

I also shared my story with her. Many years ago, I was on a supermarket bus tour in Seattle. The weather was warm and the roads were curvy. My stomach was not doing well, so I was relieved when we stopped at an Asian grocery store (the famed Uwajimaya). I found a large bag of Crystallized Ginger and purchased it right away. Munching on small pieces of ginger during that 3-day bus trek saved my sanity!

Do you know someone who gets motion sickness? Nothing can ruin a cruise or bus tour more than feeling queasy.

Fortunately, Crystallized Ginger is fairly widely available. It’s made from large chunks of fresh ginger root that are soaked in a sugar solution. When dried, it has a firm and chewy texture, similar to dried fruit. (Sometimes it's called Candied Ginger.) And the spicy nature of fresh ginger is mellowed a lot by the sugar. A small piece can go a long way in calming your nausea.

Crystallized Ginger has other uses, too: You can chop it finely and add to cookies or fruit cake (if you make it for the holidays). A piece dropped into a cup of hot water, after steeping about 5 minutes, makes a delicious tea and it has the same stomach-calming effects. You can even use it in a stir-fry.

So, next time you are tempted to buy an over-the-counter medicine to calm your stomach, try something more natural. Crystallized Ginger is inexpensive and you don’t have to hide it from your kids!

And now you know!
Karen

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