Ginger is the scented root of a tuber that is part of the spices used in Asian cuisine, and that today flavours and seasons stews, sauces and desserts the world over with its refreshing taste, spicy, sweet and penetrating. Its aroma has a touch of lemon and cardamom.

In powdered form, this condiment is used in sauces, meats, cream and other soups, fish, shellfish, leafy vegetables and sauces like béchamel. It is also used to boost the flavour of pastry and fruit desserts, like Christmas cookies, carrot cake and sweets.

Its flavour is powerful, so it needs to be used in moderation in herbal teas, juices and the currently fashionable ginger shots. Use it to marinate fish or meat or to sauté, as long as you add it at the end of cooking.

The spiciness of ginger is very much like that of black pepper and chillis, although that does not mean that it bites the same, simply that it produces a similar sensation.

Try it in small amounts in your chocolate desserts to give them a new taste.