Sunday, 4 September 2011

Shipwrecks, Brazilian Exports, Fijian Growth & Ginger With Cayenne

There is an old Chinese saying, "If you have a good habit of eating radishes in winter and ginger in summer, you will not need a prescription from the doctor". It tends to appear on Chinese sites for food, drink and alternative medicines. Apparently, radishes are helpful as they improve the immune system which can be weakened during the cold winter months. Ginger is said to increase appetites which can be reduced naturally during the hot summer months. Can anyone help with any information?

The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) ran a feature about the ships which have come to grief in the waters around Malaysia. I was particularly interested in the references to the Diana, a British East India Company sailing ship which hit an underwater boulder close to the international trading centre of Malacca and sank in 1817. I will admit that I was drawn to this ship because ginger has been recovered in archaeological dives. As the ship was laden with Chinese porcelain we can assume that the ginger was from China. And if we also assume that the ginger was packed in ginger jars, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't, then these jars should have wax seals on the bottom from Chinese customs authorities giving permission for export. I would be interested to find out what was found.

The Washington Beer Blog announced that Two Beers Brewing is about to release the first beer made from the new hop harvest. It will launch the brewery's autumn seasonal beers and will be joined at the end of the month by the popular Pumpkin Spice Ale. This spiced ale contains ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice, and I can only imagine what it tastes like.

Last week I wrote about Halewood International's exciting approach to advertising and marketing Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Since then Halewood has appointed Hatch Communications to manage Crabbie's consumer PR function. It will be interesting to see how future campaigns develop.

Reed's Inc, one of America's leading ginger soft drink manufacturers, has just announced its seventh consecutive quarter of sales growth. Revenue for the quarter was 26% higher than the same period last year. I don't have any definitive statistics but this growth does appear to fit in with my observations of increasing demand for ginger products all around the world.

The New York Times had a small review about Divine Treasures, a vegan chocolate shop in the Manchester Parkade Shopping Center, Connecticut. I mention this because the shop sells a Ginger Explosion containing ginger, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Here in the UK, chocolate with ginger and chilli is very popular but I don't think that I've ever come across cayenne. Interesting.

I know it is a little bit late but congratulations to Fever-Tree Ginger Ale for winning a sofi (speciality outstanding food innovation) gold medal in the Cold Beverage category at this year's US National Association for the Speciality Food Trade awards at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Brazil is fast becoming a major player on the ginger scene. Fresh Plaza featured Gabe's Import-Export (Comércio Exterior), a Brazilian group of ginger growers linked to an exporter, who farm 200 hectares and export a container of ginger each week. It exports principally to Europe and the USA but sees Canada as the next big market to conquer. Canada has seen a significant increase in interest in ginger tea, ale and cookies in recent years.

The Fijian Agriculture Ministry has announced the launch of a $1m project aimed at boosting the country's ginger industry. Fiji currently exports $6.3m worth of ginger a year and is considered to be an important contributor to the country's foreign earnings. The project, a collaboration between the government, private sector and overseas investors (Buderim Ginger?), has identified three areas worthy of investment. The first is to extend the amount of land under cultivation by 545 hectares. The second is to improve the processing facilities for baby ginger. And finally, to improve the range of value-added products such as crystallised ginger and ginger paste.

Some of you may be wondering about last week's reference to Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer and toffees. Well, The Toffees is the nickname of Everton Football Club.

No comments:

Post a Comment