Hawaiian ginger is produced exclusively in Hawaii and nowhere else in the United States. It is the predominant choice of the American consumers because of its quality. Twenty years ago, the ginger industry was merely a collection of small backyard operations catering entirely to the local markets. In 1997, it was a $8.1 million industry producing 12.1 million pounds annually and sold in the U.S. mainland and European markets. The potential for growth is bright for the industry because Hawaiian ginger accounts for only 40% of the total annual U.S. consumption and the European markets are still relatively untouched. Fresh Hawaiian ginger root will enhance the flavor of meats, vegetables, chicken, fish, cakes, candies and can even be brewed as a tea. Select ginger that is firm with no soft spots. To use fresh ginger, simply peel and prepare as the recipe directs. Stored in the refrigerator, ginger will stay fresh for several weeks, or longer, if frozen. Ginger is available in the produce section of supermarkets year-round.
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