Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso Leaves is produced from a variety of ginger called 'zingiber officinale', that is cultivated for its rhizome or root. After the ginger is harvested the fresh roots are peeled, thinly sliced and pickled for a short time with a small amount of sea salt. The ginger slices are then pickled again in a mixture of water, umeboshi plum vinegar, rice malt, rice vinegar and shiso leaves. The variety of shiso used is called 'aka' (red) shiso, together with umeboshi vinegar it gives Eden Pickled Ginger its pink color. The mild sweet taste comes from naturally malted rice syrup.
For thousands of years pickling has been used as a means of preserving vegetables. Pickles are a staple in the Asian diet, as they are throughout the world. References to ginger have been found in Chinese texts dating from the 6th century B.C. From China ginger was introduced throughout Asia. Arab traders brought it to the Mediterranean and the Spanish brought it to the West Indies.
A prized healthy food in the Orient for over 2000 years, pickled ginger has long been used to aid in the digestion of starches, fats and oils. It is also believed to counteract the potentially toxic effects of fish or other animal foods. Ginger has a warming quality that promotes healthy circulation. Pickled ginger helps cleanse the palate after taking food. Eden Pickled Ginger is low in calories and contains no fat.
Shiso leaves contain a natural preservative called 'perilla-aldehyde'. It is documented to have over one thousand times the strength of synthetic preservatives used in food. In Asia, it is said that ginger is one of the six necessities for longevity.
To use Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso Leaves, first quickly rinse under cold water to remove the salty pickling brine. Eat as is or use in making brown rice sushi and rice balls. It can be chopped and mixed into grain, noodles, vegetable salads, or stir fries for a delightful crunchy texture and mild pungent, sweet flavor. It can also be minced and used to create a variety of delicious salad dressings, marinades and sauces.