With such a multicultural population, Cayman’s restaurants boast an enviable diversity of cuisines. So until international trips are on the menu again, why not travel the world through the medium of food?
Words by Natasha Were.
Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. Ginger may not be much to look at, but the knobbly root is one of the most versatile ingredients known to man, with a multitude of applications both for cooking and as a folk remedy.
Thriving in tropical climates its pungent, spicy, slightly sweet flavour adds warmth and aroma to everything from tea and alcoholic beverages to soups, curries and sauces. Here in the Caribbean it’s most commonly used in ginger beer and Jamaican ginger cake.
But the humble rhizome’s benefits go far beyond flavour. It’s one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants we have, and its healing properties have been known for millennia. Ginger is used to relieve nausea, stomach cramps and motion sickness and has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Whether you prefer it in sweet, savoury or liquid form, a little ginger adds a little zing, while helping fight a whole host of common complaints.
• 1/4 lb ginger, peeled
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
• 2 qrts water
• Grate the ginger using a micro-plane to measure 3 1/2 tablespoons, place it into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to collect the juice, pressing on solids and discarding.
• Place a funnel into the neck of a bottle and pour in 3 tablespoons of ginger juice.
• Add the sugar, lemon juice, yeast and a pinch of salt.
• Pour the water into the bottle, leaving 1.5” of space. Remove funnel and screw cap on tightly.
• Gently shake the bottle to dissolve sugar.
• Let stand at room temperature for 24 to 36 hours.
• Chill ginger beer until very cold.
• Serve in your favourite cocktail or straight up.
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