ginger: 3 posts

Tisanes : Fragrant Caffeine-Free Teas

I have a tea drawer, which is hard to explain to those who either don’t drink tea or don’t drink so much that they actually need a designated tea drawer. “What do you do with it?” ask bewildered guests suspiciously eyeing the dozens of packages that I keep in a credenza in the corner of my dining room. (Those guests become even more bewildered when they see my perfume shelf, but that’s another story). Although all tea comes from the same plant, camellia sinensis, it exists in such a range of flavors and tastes that one box of Earl Grey simply doesn’t cover all of my cravings. But since high-quality tea is best bought in small quantities and drunk as quickly as possible, the bulk of my tea drawer is made up of herbs and dried flowers that I use for tisanes.

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Tisane usually refers to a non-caffeinated beverage made by steeping flowers, herbs, or spices in water. I’m very sensitive to caffeine, and after 6pm I don’t drink anything caffeinated. For this reason, linden blossom or cinnamon and honey tisane is one of my favorite ways to wrap up the day. Some infusions like linden, sage and ginger have health benefits, but I drink them for their aroma and taste. It takes less than 10 minutes to brew rose tea, but the boost you receive from a steaming cup that smells like summer itself lingers for hours.

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Origins Ginger Essence : Perfume Review

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If you were to open my fridge and avoid having some unidentified jar fall onto your foot, you will always find fresh ginger. I’m addicted to its vibrant flavor. The twisted rhizomes covered with pearly, beige skin taste less of the earth from which they are dug out than of citrus zest, crushed lemongrass and green orange flowers. Ginger shares aromatics with all of these ingredients, and although the first impression when you pop a sliver in your mouth is an explosive freshness, the flavor soon becomes more complex. I add ginger coins to sauteed greens and fish soups. A few pieces also end up in my tea. Since I love the scent so much, any perfume promising a blast of ginger piques my curiosity.

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One of my ginger favorites is Origins Ginger Essence. Introduced in 2000, it can even be called a classic, especially in comparison to so many launches that vanish after a couple of seasons. Ginger Essence is not a perfume masterpiece, and if you want the perfume equivalent of an epic novel, then don’t waste your time on it. It’s simply a ginger cologne that feels refreshing and uncomplicated. Since one can’t read only Dostoevsky nor wear only Guerlain (at least, I can’t), its happy simplicity is a pleasure.

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Orange Trout with Garlic, Ginger, and Sesame

When I think of orange, I usually think of desserts–a long curl of zest steeped in milk for rice pudding, a dash on top of bitter chocolate mousse or whipped into poundcake batter. By sweetening the orange, you highlight its floral, honeyed nuance, but what happens if you add a dash of salt instead? The effect is explosive. Salt volatilizes aromatic components, and the orange aroma becomes even more saturated. Moreover, its zesty flavor marries so well with savory notes that it’s fun to explore different combinations.

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One of my favorite piquant combinations with orange is a Korean inspired dry rub for fish. Garlic, scallions, ginger, sesame and chili pepper are used with dazzling effect in Korean cooking, giving it a distinctive flavor–earthy and aromatic, nutty and spicy. I haven’t encountered orange in Korean dishes, but its sweet perfume is a harmonious touch. It brings out the citrusy nuances of ginger and softens the toasty richness of sesame. Because of their acidity, oranges are also excellent with fish, and voilà, here is my creation.

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