Its invigorating scent, sharp flavor, and medicinal qualities have made ginger a bona fide aphrodisiac for a millennia. Ginger root is actually the underground, spreading stems of the ginger plant. It works its way through the earth, forming a large bundle of twists and turns. Small portions of these twists and turns are called “hands,” and that’s what we buy today in the grocery as fresh ginger.
Eaten straight, it tastes zippy and hot on the tongue. Cooked, it transforms into a more subtle, spicy-sweet flavor. Mixed with sugar in a ginger chew, it becomes a sticky, intense nectar. Cold ginger ale bubbles down, soothing the stomach. Hot-from-the-oven gingerbread, historically eaten by European maidens in the hopes that their gingerbread man would turn into a real husband, fills any kitchen with warmth.
Beyond the senses, ginger helps with a myriad of medical issues, calming motion sickness, alleviating migraines, and thinning the blood. The last of these issues plays the strongest role in ginger’s aphrodisiac qualities by allowing circulation to flow easily throughout all parts of our system, engorging the body’s most sensitive areas with oxygen-rich blood. And we all know what that means.
creating the image
In researching ginger, Randall stumbled across an image of a giant ginger root. It was a massive tangle of ginger, the size of a small ottoman. What we get in grocery stores are merely pieces of these root balls divided into smaller lots for home cooking. We fell in love with this earthy labyrinth but could never combine it effectively with a human body for a sensual result that fit with the style of the photographs from the first edition. So, back at square one, we cut the ginger long-ways to show off its fingers. We chose an Asian model (courtesy of a Craig’s list posting) to provide a slightly yellow skin tone as the backdrop to the yellow flesh of the ginger root. The fingers curve around her, decorating her body simply and dramatically.
photo by ben fink