Fresh ginger wouldn’t last the long trips it was taken on 5,000 years ago when spice caravans left India for the Middle East, so it was dried after picking. Arab and Persian groups used ginger primarily as a spice or brewed in tea. Most of the ginger imported to the US is from Cochin, India, but is inferior in quality to the top-grade Chinese ginger, known as China Number One. It has a bright, lemony aroma when freshly grated, adding a warming heat to stir fries, curries, and baked goods. We grind our powdered ginger weekly, as evidenced by its fresh aroma.