Good Evening People:
I apologize for this early installment, but I have a full schedule of training and shopping ahead of me tomorrow.
Well, I never claimed to be a soothsayer, but as luck would have it, “Mom”, Tracy and I finally went to Hide for sushi last night for dinner and, as always, I ate a ton; including several orders each of ankimo (monkfish liver), uni (sea urchin) and unagi (freshwater eel). And, as always, I ate no gari (pickled ginger).
And while I do consider myself a Sushi Snob, I don’t understand how anyone can eat that pink or yellowish pickled root as they indulge in the finest delicacies known to man…or at least to this man. Pickled ginger? Really? Really? I don’t get it. I know it is used as a palate cleanser, but as far as I am concerned, it is as unpalatable as truffle oil (sorry Ant and Shan), lemon (sorry Diane) and cilantro (sorry again Ant and Shan). I have no problem distinguishing the flavors between the different types of fish without chomping on something acidic.
But with it on every table, it got me thinking. Other than cleaning the palate, what, if anything, is pickled ginger good for?
To my surprise, the following:
Remember when you were a kid and had an upset stomach and your parents or grandparents gave you Ginger Ale to ease the discomfort? Well, wouldn’t you know, ginger is one of nature’s top digestive aids. It is usually effective in reducing intestinal gas – good thing if you are eating Escolar (sound familiar?). It has also been a proven combatant to many causes of nausea including; pregnancy, motion sickness and the use of cancer medications. Even more importantly, for some of you, pickled ginger is an effective treatment in warding of hot flashes!
But what intrigued me most about the positive side-effects of consuming gari is that it can be a an integral part of your exercise program. Notice, I specifically did NOT say WEIGHT LOSS program. Yes, while many appetite suppressants contain ginger root in their ingredients, it does more than that. Gari actually CONTROLS the body’s appetite. What’s the difference, you say? When your appetite is controlled, you tend to eat the right things in the right amounts, thus giving your body its appropriate nutrients, avoiding the extremes of either overeating or undereating.
Who knew, if you make gari a regular part of your diet, it will be like having me right at your dinner table? Now doesn’t that sound like a good thing?
So as The Chairman of Iron Chef would say, “à la cuisine!” Or, in other words, “to the kitchen!”