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Is Ginger Fruit or Vegetable?

author image Virginia Van Vynckt
From 1978 until 1995, Virginia Van Vynckt worked as a writer and editor at The Chicago Sun-Times. She has written extensively about food and nutrition, having co-authored seven cookbooks. She also published "Our Own," a book about older-child adoption. Van Vynckt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University.
Is Ginger Fruit or Vegetable?
Whole and sliced ginger root Photo Credit grafvision/iStock/Getty Images

Ginger root is the rhizome, or fleshy stem, of a tropical plant. It’s a vegetable but is usually treated as an herb or spice for cooking and medicinal purposes.

Vegetable Vs. Fruit

Is Ginger Fruit or Vegetable?
Whole fresh ginger bulbs Photo Credit kazoka30/iStock/Getty Images

The fruit is the seed-bearing part of a mature flower. Other parts of a plant, including the roots, stems and leaves, are considered vegetables. That means that ginger, which comes from the stem of the plant rather than from its flowers, is a vegetable. The leaves and flower buds of ginger, available in some Asian markets, are also edible.

Choosing and Using Fresh Ginger

Is Ginger Fruit or Vegetable?
Slimmer ginger roots Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

For ginger that is less fibrous, choose roots that are slim and thin-skinned. Although it can be stored at cool room temperature, ginger keeps longer if you seal it in a plastic bag and refrigerate or freeze it. You can peel it with a vegetable peeler before grating, dicing or mincing it to add to soups, stir-fries, fruit salads and other dishes. Fresh, unpeeled ginger slices can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea.

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