Come with me to The Ginger Factory in Australia and discover how confectionary ginger is made. From the farm to the factory, discover this irresistible and versatile ingredient.
The Ginger Factory
While we were travelling around the sunshine coast in Australia, we made a pit stop at The Ginger Factory. The Ginger Factory is a cute little theme park all about ginger that is great fun for children and adult alike.
In addition to the factory, there is a shop selling all kind of ginger product wonders, a café going crazy adding ginger to all sorts of dishes (from scones to burgers!), and a beautiful rainforest garden irrigated with the leftover water from the factory. They even sell ginger plants…if I only lived in a tropical country! The entry is free, and you only pay if you go on a tour.
We joined the tour and entered the world of Buderim Ginger Factory, making one of the world’s finest confectionary ginger since 1941.
Ginger, a potent medicine
Ginger has so many medicinal properties: it helps against a cold and nausea (from pregnancy sickness to sea sickness), it facilitates digestion and can help manage cholesterol levels. And if that wasn’t enough, this super powerful root has potent anti-inflammatory qualities. For example, it’s also recommended to reduce period pain.
In other words, a ginger a day, keeps the doctor away.
Another fun fact for your next pub quiz is that ginger is in the same family of turmeric and cardamom, two other incredible ingredients.
This ingredient is originally from South-east Asia, India and China, so how did Buderim factory became a super star in confectionary ginger?
It all started in 1941 when a union of five farmers decided to join forces to commercially grow ginger for the first time in Australia. All processed ginger used to come from China, but the supply was interrupted with the onset of World War II.
This left a big gap in the market that the Australian farmers were determined to fill. Over the years, this risky decision turned into a multi-million dollar industry.
How confectionary ginger is made
The production of ginger starts with a ginger saved from last year’s crop. Once planted the plant grows up very quickly to about a meter high.
The first harvest is around February. This ginger is very young and has minimal fibre content making it ideal for eating.
The ginger is cleaned and then transferred to the factory. The ginger is kept at peak conditions in storage vats till it is needed. When ready, the ginger is peeled and cut by a massive machine.
Small pieces are removed from the production line and used for jams and cookies. Bigger pieces go on and are graded according to their fibre content.
No piece of the ginger stem is wasted during the production process and every piece of ginger is transformed into a delicious treat.
For example, the stems with less fibres are the ones selected for confectionary and moved to the “syruping” area. The ginger is cooked in syrup, constantly stirred, for around 12 days. The colour of the ginger changes from bright yellow to (what they call) Australia’s golden ginger. The crystallised ginger is now ready to be packed and distributed worldwide!
Tasting and souvenirs
I am obsessed with ginger and I was so excited to discover the behind-the-scenes of the confectionary process. I eat so much crystallised ginger as a mid-afternoon treat that I must always remind myself that while ginger itself is healthy, the confectionary one is covered in a crazy amount of sugar!
Buderim factory branches out into a lot of other products from their famous ginger ale to their innovative ginger syrup. You can taste all their delicacies at the end of the tour.
I couldn’t resist and bought a few souvenirs and can’t wait to get experimenting in the kitchen!
What about you? Are you also fan of all-things ginger? Any advice on what ginger recipe I should try first?
You can find here my gingerbread biscuits, they are so tasty that they can’t be eaten only at Christmas.