What in tarnation is crystallized ginger?
Good question. I owe you all an answer.
Based on some hard-core searching on the interweb, I learned a few things about this delicious ingredient. Crystallized ginger, also known as candied ginger or glace ginger, is fresh ginger that has been slowly cooked in sugar water and then rolled in sugar to preserve it. It maintains its ginger flavor, but less bite than fresh ginger. Since it's coated with sugar, crystallized ginger is obviously sweeter than fresh ginger as well.
Now that you know what crystallized ginger is, what should you do with it? In addition to Gingered Fruit Salad, crystallized ginger is an ingredient in my mother-in-law's Cranberry Sauce and Stir Fried Beef & Broccoli. Speaking of stir fry, I add about 2 tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger pretty much every time I make one. It adds a great depth of flavor. Plus I feel more domestic when I add ginger to bottled sweet and sour sauce.
How about you? What is your favorite recipe that calls for crystallized ginger? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section.