Friday, December 28, 2012

Sina Ginger Candy

Like many unlucky souls out there, my body was invaded by cold germs as the weather turned from warm to cold. Incidentally, one of my pet peeves (besides the phrase "pet peeve", which I hate) is people speaking as if cold weather increases the risk of catching a cold. We catch colds because of the abrupt changes in temperature causing stress on our bodies and making us more susceptible to illnesses, not being exposed to cold air. That's why you're just as likely to catch a summer "cold" as a winter one. The fact that a week of coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose as your immune system struggles to force these invaders out of your system is called "a cold" is probably responsible for this misunderstanding. 

At any rate, when I catch a cold, I crave strong herbal concoctions. One of the things I used to love having at this time when I was in Japan was their herbal cough drops. Another was access to Korean citron tea (something I've found can be had locally as well via Han Kook markets, hurrah!), which was often available at our local Yutakaraya. And, I would try to drink down ginger tea, as it's the sort of thing which is supposed to boost the immune system.

While still recovering from the invasion of the snot producing demons, my husband and I were perusing a Ranch 99 Market. My energy levels had plummeted through the floor at that time and I didn't have the energy to look around much, but just as we were leaving, I saw these Indonesian ginger candies. It seemed like just the ticket to moisten tissues dried out by copious amounts of mouth breathing as well as provide new armaments to my embattled immune system. I grabbed my taro mochi and this candy and got out of there before crawling into a corner and taking a nap.

The candy looks like it comes in a cigarette pack, but it's actually full of foil packets that contain sticky wads of ginger candy. They're very chewy and sticky, so, if you've got loose fillings, you want to stay away. My fillings, fortunately, seem to be firmly rooted and I could endure them. Note that these are a pretty "pure" candy because they contain only three ingredients: cane sugar, "choice" ginger and tapioca starch. The starch clearly is just dusted on the outside to keep the candy from sticking too much to the foil. The box asserts that this is "a nourishing healthy sweet suitable for the whole family at any time." That's actually more truthful for this treat than for many that make similar claims. 

The first hit on your tongue is of sweetness and then the ginger flavor quickly hits and starts its build. Within about 20 seconds, heat is started to build up from the intense ginger flavor. It'll burn the back of your throat a little and fill your mouth with warmth. While this may sound harsh, it's actually a very satisfying experience if you're the kind of person who enjoys eating candied ginger or garlic so strong it can burn.

I liked this a lot and I'd absolutely buy it again, especially for the price I paid (69 cents for a 2 oz. box with 9 pieces of candy). However, it's easy to see that this isn't the sort of candy that is for everyone. You've got to really love strong ginger and be happy with something relatively simple.


SusieTron FiveThousand said...

The price sounds amazing for this product. I just recently got some Ginger Chew samples at our local natural food store and they were delicious! The price though OUCH! 11 dollars for 1 pound bag. Same ingredients as yours maybe the difference is this one was labeled organic? Gin Gins was the brand I tried.

Orchid64 said...

I've also noticed that ginger anything tends to be very expensive, which was one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to try this. It's interesting how the origin and packaging has such a massive impact on price.

My "go to" ginger snack since returning has been Trader Joe's crystallized ginger (which is not sugar-coated), which I think costs about $2.49 a bag. Unfortunately, it seems to be very seasonally available and tends to come and go. Next time I see it, I should pick up a lot because you never know when it will vanish.

These ginger chews are probably economically on par with the Trader Joes version, though definitely more intense on the ginger (which I find pretty awesome) and more wasteful in their packaging.

I'm guessing that "organic" definitely got you a price hike. That is always the way, isn't it?

Thanks for commenting!

Hirayuki said...

Yay, you found the yuzu "tea"! Now to try tracking down these babies here in metro Detroit... I like ginger okay, but my husband adores it, and as you point out, it's great for the cold & flu season.

rachel federman said...

Ahh I'm late to this, but I buy similar ginger candy at my regular grocery store(in the "health" foods section). They're packaged the same way and go for $1.99, which is at least better than whole foods. I must have these on me at all times.