My journey in the world of business began with ginger – specifically, making crystallised ginger. As a curious food enthusiast, I’m the type who prefers crafting things that are readily available in stores. I’ve even dabbled in making puff pastry from scratch.
Back in 2017, while in Canada, I encountered crystallised ginger. The flavour was palatable, but the excessive sugar content bothered me.
This marked the beginning of my quest, which naturally started with a Google search – a common approach for many. Eager to learn the process, I delved into the world of homemade crystallised ginger. Numerous results suggested using a mandolin to thinly slice and removing the skin on the ginger. Here’s an example of one of the first pages I checked out, recipe from Daring Gourmet. Eventually, I came across the recipe of a US-based chef named David Lebovitz, known for his culinary expertise on the West Coast of USA. His crystallised ginger recipe intrigued me, which you can find here. What I liked about his recipe was he mentioned about the ginger syrup. Though when I was making the crystallised ginger for the first few times, I didn’t have any syrup leftover in the pot to be using.
To my surprise, the homemade version offered a distinct flavour profile, boasting a vibrant ginger spice kick unlike the perfectly shaped, cubed crystallised ginger. I found myself disheartened by the waste generated from the latter, especially considering the high-quality ginger used in its creation. This aspect prompted me to consider a change in my business approach.
Of course my google results were different when living in Canada to what google would show me here in Ireland.
When I returned to Ireland and once I started looking at commercializing the product and also receiving some taster feedback I wanted to create a more chewier ginger pieces. After some more searches I came across this informative recipe for crystallised ginger, recipe link. It adviced to tenderise the ginger root by freezing and this has helped to make the ginger pieces more palatable.
As well as the above searches I was looking at the type of ginger and the quality. So I first discovered Peruvian ginger when I was in a food market in Calgary, Alberta. I wasn’t living in Calgary, I was 1hr west of there in Canmore, into the amazing Rocky mountains. Anyways, I was curious of the size and quality of this ginger. So once I returned to Ireland I went looking for some of this golden Peruvian ginger. So something to remember if the ginger is nice and yellow that is due to the gingerol concentration, more yellow higher gingerol and goodness, veering towards white/yellow, low in gingerol.
...... More to come later. Work in progress, come back later ......