P A Okwuowulu

Ginger first appeared in Europe in the ninth century. By the eleventh century, ginger was well known in England. Between 1292 and 1293, John de Montecorvino recorded the first description of ginger in his account of the Coromandel Coast. About this period, the Arabs introduced ginger into East Africa. Ginger production was reported in Malacca in 1416, and during the reign of Henry VIII, ginger was already recommended for cure of plague. The Chinese "preserved ginger" industry was already established by that time. The Spaniards brought ginger into the West Indies and Mexico soon after the conquest, and by 1547, ginger was being exported from Santiago to Spain. Francisco de Mendosa successfully transplanted ginger in the West Indies in 1567. About that time, the Portuguese introduced ginger into West Africa. Provatoroff and Fabrick (1972) gave an account of oil distilled from ginger in 1692.

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