Monday, February 23, 2009
I've been drawn to this variety of ginger for years. I found it first among the mystics' stalls in Quiapo, among amulets and such. It is used for incantations and spells. People call it luyang itim, literally "black ginger", presumably because when you slice the root, it shows a black ring under the skin. The rest of the flesh is somewhat bluish. I got a big bunch of it on someone's lot in the province, where it was growing wild. Someone was clearing a bit of the land, and the roots were left exposed.
The root looks like a fat, non-orange turmeric. It smells incredible. Sort of minty, like a good balm. I'm not sure about culinary applications, but I attempted to make a balm out of it by drying slices, and then cooking with some oils and natural waxes. It didn't turn out as expected, but I'll keep trying.
In the meantime, I planted some of the roots, and they're beginning to grow. I can't give any info on how the plant itself looks, but surely I'll be posting more as it shoots up.
Posted by Bea