Candied ginger and finocchietto: two recipes

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Leggi questo post in: Italiano

A friend of ours has recently discovered the joy of candied ginger and tried to find a way to make it himself at home. Seeing as I like it a lot too and that ginger is really good for you, I asked him for his recipe. I tried it out and it turned out pretty well, even though it is considerably different than what you find in the supermarket.

  1. peel the fresh ginger root and slice it about 5mm wide.
  2. put the ginger in a pot, cover with water (I put enough to cover it and then doubled that), and let it boil about 20 minutes.
  3. drain the ginger, putting aside the boiled water. let both the ginger and the water cool.
  4. weigh the ginger, then put it back in the pot and cover it with the water from the first time around (which should be just enough to cover the ginger).
  5. when the water boils, add the same weight of sugar as there was ginger. let it boil 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often and being careful that the sugar doesn’t burn. in theory the ginger should start getting a bit transparent, but we only managed to get it slightly so at the edges.
  6. remove the ginger and let it dry. the water is delicious cooled and used as a syrup with cold water for a refreshing drink.

Last summer we spent a few days at the beaches of Acciaroli, sleeping at Pollica, a truly beautiful place where we’ve gone for years. You can’t help but eat super yummy stuff there and one of the things that we love is cooking with finocchietto selvatico, wild fennel flowers. It’s a plant that grows in the summer with wispy green parts and yellow flower umbrellas that look sort of like Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. Here’s a picture of it with the background of the beautiful hills of the Cilento. I’ve always wanted to make liquor from finocchietto and finally I did it. Unfortunately I’m writing this a bit late, so if you want to try it, you’ll have to wait til next summer. Here’s how I did it:

  1. wash and completely dry a couple of handfuls of wild finocchietto flowers.
  2. put them in a jar which closes hermetically with 1 liter of alcohol. put it in a cool dry place for about 30 days.
  3. when the 30 days are up, make a syrup by boiling 1 liter of water with 800 grams of sugar for 15 minutes. then let it cool down.
  4. when it’s completely cool, filter the flowers from the alcohol, mix the alcohol with the syrup and put it all back in the hermetic jar. let it sit about 4-5 days out of the light.
  5. filter and put it in a nicer looking bottle. wait at least 3 months before drinking.

Buon appetito!

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8 COMMENTS

  1. mio marito è sempre andato con la famiglia ad acciaroli da quando era piccolo. ogni anno andiamo nel cilento anche se ora spesso andiamo in altri posti perché c'è troppa confusione ad acciaroli e costa più degli altri posti!

  2. interesting! i knew that ginger is good for digestion, but not about motion sickness. my little girl suffers from car sickness, but i'm afraid she won't want the ginger flavor. but i will try! thanks for the tip!

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I love your blog and your generosity.
    Would you please let me know where can I get the seeds for the finnocchietto flowers?
    I am from the Northen part of USA, and here we have a lot of wild Queens Ann Lace.
    Thank you Lisa and keep up the work.
    Julia

    • Thank you for your kind words, Julia! The finocchietto flowers that I use frow wild in the summer in the area of Italy that I live in, and therefore they have a very strong and special fragrance. (And yes, the flower structure does somewhat resemble that of Queen Anne’s Lace.) I know that people also make this liquor from fennel seeds, which you can buy in natural food shops. I’m not sure how many to use, but I’d say that it would be better to err on the generous side, just to be safe! Let me know if you try it this way!

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