Sunday, 26 May 2013

Once in a while I will come across an object and think "I like that, I like that a lot". I may not necessarily want to buy it but I just want to look at it. This poster has that effect on me.

As you can see, this poster is advertising Excelsior Ginger Ale from the John Klee Bottling Company of Dayton, Ohio. According to the US Library of Congress, it dates from August 29th, 1885. The ginger ale was sold in the Joseph R.Peebles Sons chain of grocery stores in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not a lot is known about the John Klee company apart from the fact that John Klee himself was an immigrant from Germany who founded the company in 1866 to manufacture ginger ale and sodas. The company closed in the 1930s.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Ginger Popcorn, Exports Halted & Ginger Ale Recall

We are a little late with this post as we are working on a major development at All Things Ginger. We are not going to tell you what it is yet but when it is ready we think you will be impressed.

The Dieline, a website dedicated to package design, reports that Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale is the most successful new product launch to date for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. I've never tried it but I am quite taken with the look of the can.

A gingerbread-flavoured popcorn has been launched ready for Easter by the UK gourmet popcorn maker Joe & Seph’s. Popcorn sales in the UK have increased rapidly over the last three years with the market in 2011 worth £53 million according to Mintel. (Source: The Food & Drink Innovation Network).

There was a blunt message last week in The Produce News - "Chinese ginger exports have ground to a halt". What normally happens in China is that ginger is harvested in November and placed in sand to cure and dry in caves until January. But this winter China is experiencing one of its coldest winters in four decades and the ginger is not curing. The price of Chinese ginger has already risen as a consequence and is expected to continue rising.

The ginger revival in Sierra Leone has been boosted by the news that the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act has certified ginger for export to the USA and Europe. Sierra Leone has been exporting ginger on a small scale to the Netherlands for a number of years. This has been quite an achievement as the Sierra Leone ginger industry was all but wiped out during the civil war from 1991-2002. (Source: Awoko).

Here is some important news if you live in New Zealand and you have bought a Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale with a best-before date between January 10th and January 30th, 2014. It has got to go back. Coca-Cola is recalling this drink along with four other Schweppes drinks because of a possible problem with the glass bottle. (Source: 3news).

Greene King, the pub retailer and brewer, has revealed its 2013 guest ales calendar. And guess what? The brewer has a ginger offering. Twisted Wheel, a light ale with a twist of ginger, will be available from April to June. According to The Drinks Business, this beer is named after the famous Manchester northern soul club which had previously been the UK's first Mod club.

The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association has published an interesting article about growing ginger in the state. We have mentioned growing ginger in Maine before in this post. Farmers in the state appear to concentrate on producing immature (or baby) ginger which is popular both cooked and raw in salads.

The Fiji Times reported that over the last ten years the country's production of ginger has been 75% immature (baby, green) and 25% mature. With the country set to start exporting mature ginger to Australia, the Ministry of Agriculture needs farmers to convert their immature ginger crops to mature ginger.

In our last post we reported that Nepal has now become the third largest producer of ginger in the world. The Himalayan has now stated that Nepal is third in terms of the total export volume of ginger but eighth in terms of value. In other words, Nepal is not getting enough for its ginger compared to other countries. The article also mentions that ginger production in Nepal is growing a faster rate than in the major competitor countries of India, China and Indonesia. The Kathmandu University School of Management has found that the best way to increase export earnings is to export value-export value-added ginger. And the best form of value-added ginger is ginger powder which is seeing increasing demand around the world.

The price of Nigerian dried ginger appears to be stable even though 70% of the current harvest has been sold. Incidentally, Nigeria used to be the third largest exporter of ginger until Nepal overtook it.

The Radio Taiwan blog published a post on the benefits of ginger in winter. What took my eye was the fact that ginger is harvested in Taiwan all year.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Welcome Rain, Hawaiian Ginger & Antimicrobial Activity

Ginger farmers in Queensland, and the Gympie region in particular, have been worried about the drought-like conditions they have endured since the middle of last year. So they were relieved when it eventually started to rain with the arrival of the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald. And rain it certainly has. According to The Gympie Times the Langshaw ginger farm received 600mm (nearly 24") of rain in four days. This amount of rain falling in four days would normally indicate very heavy downpours but it was actually gentle rain. Because of this there was remarkably little erosion and the crops survived. Queensland produces about 80% of Australia's ginger.

Patrick Atanalian, the executive chef at the Sanctuary restaurant in Minneapolis, has created a simple but unusual dish. He has taken a classic potato soup and given it a bit of a bite with the addition of ginger beer.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has revealed that Nepal has become the third largest producer of ginger in the world after India and China. In 2011 the country produced 216,289 tonnes of ginger. A continuing concern for the Nepalese government must be that India buys 98 percent of the country’s total ginger exports. (Source: The Kathmandu Post).

The Department of Botany at Gauhati University in North-East recently completed a research project entitled "Comparative Chemical Constituents And Antimicrobial Activity Of Normal And Organic Ginger Oils". It concluded that organic ginger oil was more effective than non-organic ginger oil at fighting Stephylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli and all the fungal strains except Penicillium sp.

The Ohio Breweries blog informs us that the Great Lakes Christmas Ale (which contains ginger as a significant component) was the top craft beer in terms of sales in Ohio and the ninth in the whole of the USA. And to think that it is only on sale for eight weeks. The brewery produced 359 batches (I don't know how large a batch is) which contained 7,000lbs of ginger.

For the last few years the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been conducting research into bacterial wilt of edible ginger in conjunction with Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE). Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) is the biggest threat to ginger farmers in Hawaii and many other ginger-growing countries. The aim of the project is to grow wilt-free ginger in pathogen-free soil. (Sources: University of Hawaii, SARE).

One of the participants in this research project is Hugh "Biker Dude" Johnson from Puna Organics in Hawaii. He supplies many of the ginger farms springing up in the eastern USA. Johnson was the first farmer in the world to export organic ginger.

Parts of Hawaii suffer from an infestation of Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), an ornamental ginger which features in the top 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species. Interestingly, a strain of Ralstonia solanacearum has been used as a biological control against Kahili ginger.

The ginger harvest has started on time in the Nilphamari district of northern Bangladesh, according to The Financial Express. It is too early to speculate on the quality and quantity of this year's harvest but the district, which in the past produced enough ginger for the entire country, currently accounts for half of Bangladesh's needs.

Buderim Ginger announced recently that chief executive Murray Richardson had resigned for family reasons after just eight months in the role. I don't know what effect that will have on the company.