Ginger is a delicious spice that is widely used in baking and cooking. Fresh ginger tastes scrumptious and can be used to make flavor-filled cookies and cakes.
However, like many plants, ginger will expire over time. Fresh ginger rarely has an expiration date, so you must look out for signs of expiration.
Ginger is a flavorsome spice, present in several dishes. This includes both sweet and savory meals.
Ginger can be used to make gingerbread, ginger cakes, bread, beverages, and roasted meats.
Many people have ginger in their cupboards or pantry. If this is the case, you will likely wonder how long it will take for the ginger to expire.
If you are wondering how long ginger lasts, you have come to the right place. We can help you to identify gone-off ginger.
Does Ginger Expire?
Yes, ginger does expire. Most manufacturers will not give this plant a use-by date, which will make it hard to know whether or not it has expired.
You should bear in mind that the details of expiration will vary depending on what type of ginger you are using.
How To Determine If Ginger Has Turned Bad?
Luckily, there are several different signs that you can look out for to determine if ginger has gone off.
Among the indicators that you should check for are:
Unless you are eating blue cheese, mold is never a good sign.
Mold occurs in food when chemicals begin to break down, resulting in the food rotting.
If you notice any mold on your ginger, it is best to discard it.
While some people maintain that it is safe to eat food so long as you cut the moldy parts off, other people will claim that you should never eat moldy foods.
This is because consuming it can make you sick. Not only this, but moldy ginger is unlikely to taste very nice.
You might also notice that the taste of the ginger has altered when it has gone bad.
Of course, this is not the most pleasant method of determining whether or not ginger is still fresh.
This is because you might end up biting into a piece of ginger with a bad taste.
The reason why we recommend getting rid of ginger with an altered taste is that it will affect the flavor of your cooking.
For instance, if you are making gingerbread cookies, they are unlikely to taste as mouth-watering if they have turned bad.
Changes In Texture
When you first purchase fresh ginger, it will have a firm texture. The older the ginger is, the more it will start to lose this firmness.
Instead, the ginger will develop a soft texture. It can start to feel mushy.
In addition, the skin of the ginger will become wrinkled. Lumps can also begin to emerge on the ginger.
These textural changes are really easy to spot, as you won’t have to taste the ginger.
A Different Smell
Ginger has a very distinctive smell. If you cook with ginger regularly, you can identify this intoxicating aroma immediately.
It has a characteristically sharp and earthy smell.
If the ginger no longer has this distinctive fragrance, this is a clear sign that it has expired.
The smell will become increasingly dull over time.
The skin of fresh ginger tends to be a brownish color, while the flesh is usually yellow. Once expiration has occurred, the color will alter.
The color can either develop into a darker yellow or it can become gray.
This gray ginger is especially unappetizing. This spoiled color is incredibly unpleasant.
Consequently, you should avoid eating this gone-off ginger.
How Long Does Ginger Last?
As mentioned, there are lots of different varieties of ginger. Each type will have different lengths of use before they start to expire.
Here are the average lengths of time that different forms of ginger last for:
- Fresh ginger – between 1 week and 1 month
- Ginger paste – 1 month
- Jarred ginger – 2 or 3 months
- Powdered or ground ginger – 3 years
- Crystalized ginger – 2 years
- Ginger roots – 1 week
These times are arbitrary. They will depend on the ginger being properly stored.
If you fail to store the ginger properly, it will not last for very long.
These approximations are also based on the products being unopened. Once a product has been opened, it will expire faster.
This is because the food will be exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere. This is known as oxidation.
How Should Ginger Be Stored?
Finding the correct storage method is vital if you wish to ensure that your ginger lasts for a long time.
If you do not store the ginger correctly, you can merely speed up the oxidation process.
The frustrating thing about ginger is that you will have to use a different storage method for each type of ginger.
To help you, we have a list of the storage methods for some of the most popular forms of ginger.
Fresh ginger: this should be stored in the refrigerator. Though you can place fresh ginger in a cupboard, it will not last as long. This ginger should be placed in an airtight container before being transferred to the fridge. The crisper draw is the optimal place to put the ginger since this space is designed to preserve vegetables.
Ideally, fresh ginger should be stored with the skin intact. The skin protects the inner ginger, thus slowing oxidation.
By doing so, the ginger should last for at least a week.
If you have already peeled and chopped the fresh ginger, it can also be stored in the fridge.
Just bear in mind that it won’t last for as long as ginger which still has its protective skin. Namely, it will only last for a few days before expiring.
If you want to preserve the ginger that has already been peeled, you can place it in a jar filled with a spirit, such as vodka.
This can lengthen the shelf life of the ginger, making it usable for a few weeks.
However, if the spirit becomes cloudy, it is best to get rid of the ginger.
Plus, you should wash the ginger before using it to remove the alcohol.
Ground, powdered, or crystalized ginger: this form of ginger belongs in a cupboard or pantry. This is because it needs to be stored in a cool and dry location. Moreover, it must be kept out of direct sunlight. Be sure to keep the cap on this ginger when not in use if you wish to stop oxidation. By doing so, the ginger can last for years.
Grated or jarred ginger: pre-grated ginger is designed to be incredibly convenient. It takes a lot of the preparation time out of using ginger. The storage instructions can differ depending on the brand. However, most manufacturers recommend storing this ginger in a cool and dry place before opening it.
Once it has been opened, this pre-grated ginger must often be transferred to a fridge.
There, it can be kept for a few weeks before it begins to expire.
Ginger paste: before using a ginger paste, it can be kept in a cool play away from direct sunlight. However, once the ginger paste has been opened, it is best to move it to the fridge. Once there, the paste should keep for approximately one month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Ginger Be Frozen?
Yes, fresh ginger can be frozen if you wish to lengthen its time of use.
The best way of doing this is to place the ginger in a freezer bag or container.
However, this is only true of fresh ginger. Most other varieties of ginger should not be frozen.
Can Bad Ginger Make You Sick?
Yes, you can have a few different irritating symptoms if you consume bad ginger.
This is due to a toxin found in rotten ginger that can cause liver problems.
- Check the ginger for mold: Mold on the outside skin of your ginger indicates that it has gone bad.
- Check the texture of your ginger: Fresh ginger has a firm texture, and it loses this firmness over time. If your ginger has gone soft, then it has started to rot.
- Check the ginger for color and smell: Ginger has a very distinctive smell, so if your ginger doesn't smell anymore, then it is likely bad. Fresh ginger also has a light brown color, which will turn dark or gray over time.
- Cut the ginger to taste some: Using a knife, cut some ginger and try a small piece. You should get the strong taste of ginger. If that's not the case, then your ginger is likely bad.
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