Ginger originates from the India. Belonging to the family of the Zingiberaceae which are generally herbs high leafy stems and horizontal rhizomes, this plant was cultivated from the beginning of colonization, in Martinique, for its aromatic rhizomes.
Ginger was exported in France
The cultivation of this plant posed no particular problems. However, according to what wrote father Labat, it would be sold at exorbitant prices:
"Since the peace of Ganesh in 1698, until the war of 1702, ginger earned Martinique from ten to fourteen pounds per hundred. This is a considerable price, if you look at the facility there to make this commodity... »
In the boats, it was used to fill the emptiness of the barrels and the other goods which left the colony in the direction of the metropolis. The master of ships and sailors in profited because, with moisture, the rhizomes of ginger increasing weight, they could sell them at best price. They went so far as to douse them with water to make them heavier.
But ginger cultivation had to be abandoned because lack of freight, rhizomes crowding in stores of the era and rotting without being washed away.
From the 17th century, we ate it either green or confit, which was, seems it, much better. Told, at the time, that it allowed to resist too much humidity in the country.
It is used in confectionery, but also in the manufacture of "Ginger" beer which is very consumed in the British Islands.
How do you preserve ginger
As always, it is the father Labat that we borrow the recipe:
"When we want to preserve a way to louse? see be presented to honest people, are picked long before it is mature, and then? it is still so tender, that its fibers are almost not distinguishable, one scratches carefully to remove any skin and cut increments, without approaching the least it possible large veins. , what one feels breezed through the cut. It is soak three or four days in seawater, that is changed twice per day, and then, for seven or eight days in fresh water, that is ' changes also twice in twenty-four hours. After that, boiled with water for an hour, and it delivers it in cool water for a day. Once it is drawn and drained, it is put in a low, but well clarified and all hot syrup without however it is boiling, where it leaves it for 24 hours. Is it removed after this time be allowed to drain, and it is put in another stronger than the first syrup; What is three days away. We throw all these syrups as unnecessary, because they contracted everything pungency, and too spicy taste of the fruit; Finally, you leave if you want to keep it liquid, and where it pulls when it wants to turn it dry... »
And he continued thus: "it is common ground ginger confit in this way loses its taste acrid and mordicant, and does not retain its heat and his other good qualities...". »
Although the various manipulations to reach this confit appear long, should be sought at this time, because it lent him many virtues, namely:
it aids digestion, and "winds."
It eats the phlegms which are in the stomach;
it cleans ducts, it excites the appetite;
It causes the urine and makes the breath soft and smell good. "(Father Labat).
It also seems that this confit cons ginger? tituait an excellent remedy against scurvy, to such an extent that people travelling to genitals always.