I can't help but to think the inflated price of ginger at $29.90 per kilo in Sydney is related to the historic baby bonus legislation that was passed through Parliament on 17th June 2010. From next year parents will be eligible to receive $570 a week, about $15 an hour, in parental leave after the birth of a child. Expectant mums must earn no more than $150,000 a year to qualify and work at least 330 hours in 10 of the 13 months before their due date. Families will have the option of signing the benefit over to stay-at-home dads if mothers want to return to work. The parental leave will not affect workplace maternity leave, but families who recieve the government's paid leave will not be eligible for the Baby Bonus payment.
Ginger has always been an indispensable ingredient in Chinese cooking especially when it comes to observing the month-long of diet restrictions by many traditional Chinese mothers, following child birth. For many Singaporean Chinese, the first 30 days after child birth is called the 'confinement period'. It is believed to be a crucial time where the new mother is to stay at home and avoid going out so as to minimise the exposure of any infection that may be harmful to the newborn or the nursing mother. Apart from being a preventive measure against infection, certain ingredients used in the special diet during the confinement period is also intended to help boost the body for milk production. There are variations in the type of food and the cooking among the different dialect groups. However, the main ingredients and herbs used are ginger, wine and black vinegar. So much so that the Cantonese and Hakkas distribute "ginger & vinegar" to friends and relatives to announce the arrival of their new addition to their family.
Fresh ginger can be found year round in the produce section of most grocery stores. Available in in two forms: young and mature and also a mark difference in their price. Young roots, also called green or spring ginger, has a pale, thin skin that requires no peeling, is very tender and has a milder flavor. It can be grated, chopped, or julienned for use. Mature ginger root is hotter and more fibroush and has a tough skin that must be peeled away to get to the fibrous flesh and is usually grated, chopped or ground for use.