The knotted ginger root has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years, and for culinary purposes for more than 4,000 years. Ginger is a native plant to China and India that migrated through the spice trade routes to the rest of Europe. Ginger became so popular in Europe and England that it was on everyone’s table, along with salt and pepper. It was also used in pubs to sprinkle on beer. Ginger is used in many forms, including tea, powder and preserves.
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Peel the ginger root and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces. Place the ginger pieces in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Let the ginger sit for one hour.
Drain the ginger in a colander and place it in the pot. Cover the ginger with fresh cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let the ginger cook for five minutes.
Drain the ginger again. Discard the water. Cover the ginger in the pot with fresh cold water and boil for another five minutes, or until the ginger is tender.
Remove the ginger from the pot and set aside in a bowl, leaving the liquid in the pot. Add all the sugar to the liquid and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down slightly and bring the syrup to a simmer for five minutes or until thickened.
Add the ginger pieces and the cream of tartar to the ginger and boil for two more minutes.