Ginger Lovers Unite

| April 7, 2009 | 1 Comment
  • 1 Comment

ginger candyI am an absolute freak for ginger. Anytime you see me, I will have one or two different ginger candies on hand and love trying out new types of candies. I personally love the taste, and find that it helps if I am feeling motion sickness on public transportation or in a car. Ginger is used in Chinese medicine and is recognized for multiple health benefits including increased circulation and help with digestive problems.

But even if ginger didn’t make me feel better, I just like the taste and flavor.

There are a lot of types of ginger candies available in Bay Area stores, and I have tried quite a few of them. Below are some of the most popular types, but I would love to hear if there are any that you like which I have missed — leave your notes in the comments. As you’ll see, I don’t love them all. To me, a great ginger candy has a very strong ginger flavor and little else. Texture is important, and I eschew candies that are too soft or don’t last very long.

MY FAVORITES

Chimes Ginger Chews
Where to find: Cost Plus World Market

I first tried Chimes Ginger Chews from Powell’s Sweet Shoppe. They come individually wrapped in a lovely little tin that is perfect for carrying in a purse. The chews are on the hard side in texture — kind of like a taffy. The flavor is strong and pure. My suggestion is to find the tin if you can, and then purchase the more affordable bags of chews from Cost Plus to refill it. The chews come in plain flavor, peanut butter flavor, and peppermint flavor. I am addicted to the plain, but let me know if you’ve tried any of the others.

Plain Crystallized Ginger
Where to find: Ginger People, Reed’s, Rainbow Grocery, various bulk sections

Plain crystallized ginger is easy to find, and satisfying in flavor. It’s a solid piece of ginger that usually has a sugar coating. I look for the ginger that is as hard as possible, as I like to chew on it. I have tried packaged crystallized ginger in the past (from Reed’s and Ginger People) and have found it to be too soft. I now purchase organic crystallized ginger from Rainbow Grocery’s bulk section (in the back refrigerated bulk area) because it’s fresh, strong, and hard in texture.

OTHER CANDIES I’VE TRIED

GoNaturally Ginger Organic Hard Candy
Where to find: Sweet Dish on Chestnut Street, San Francisco

I appreciate that these are hard candies, but the ginger flavor is not strong enough, and there is an off flavor that I can’t identify. If I didn’t read the package saying that the flavor is ginger, I wouldn’t have known from the taste.

Ginger People Ginger Chews
Where to find: Trader Joe’s

These are probably the most popular type of ginger candy. They’re widely available at Trader Joe’s and many people I know eat them. I find them to be too chewy and sticky in texture, but the flavor is nice.

Ginger People Gin Gins Boost
Where to find: Sweet Dish on Chestnut Street, San Francisco

Another candy from Ginger People, this is a small, lozenge-like candy that has a milky look to it. The ginger flavor was there, but not as strong as what I find in my favorites. I might buy them again if in a pinch, but they didn’t leave much of an impression on me.

What have I missed? Are there any great ginger candies that I must try?

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Category: asian food and drink, health and nutrition

About the Author ()

"My passion for food began young." I am the editor of the influential website www.EatLocalChallenge.com which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers. I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003. I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure. I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers' Market, which was released in February 2010. I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what's in season and chatting with farmers.
  • http://marcsala.blogspot.com Marc

    Another variation is a hard candy made from palm sugar that has been flavored with ginger. The palm sugar adds complexity to the background.

    The ones I have tried are made in Malaysia — a place where palm sugar is used in a lot of desserts — and so I would expect similar products from other palm sugar places like Thailand. Mine were a gift from a traveler and I haven’t looked for them in Asian shops in the Bay Area.