Candied ginger is [fresh ginger root](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-ginger-learn-all-about-ginger-and-ginger-cooking-tips) preserved in sugar syrup. To make candied ginger, peel and slice fresh ginger, then par-boil and cook the pieces in sugar syrup. Candied ginger is stored and served in sugar syrup, whereas crystallized ginger is candied ginger coated in additional sugar.\n\nCandied ginger was first developed in China during the Song dynasty (960–1279) to extend the shelf life of fresh ginger. Ginger candy was also enjoyed as a luxury during the Middle Ages in Europe.\nAlthough often referred to as ginger root, ginger actually comes from the rhizome (underground stem) of *Zingiber officinale*, a tropical flowering plant from the same family as cardamom and turmeric. The sharp bite of raw fresh ginger comes from gingerol, an aromatic compound that transforms into the sweeter zingerone when heated or dried, making ginger an especially versatile ingredient.\nCandied ginger is one of the easiest types of candy to make, but there are a few tricks to simplify the candying process:\n\n1. __Select your ginger__. Young ginger, which has thin skin and a pink tinge, will yield candied ginger that’s smooth, mild in flavor, and less fibrous than candied ginger made with mature ginger. Mature ginger features a thick beige skin and has a more intense spicy flavor.\n2. __Peel ginger with a spoon__. Place the ginger on a flat surface, and face the bowl of a metal spoon toward the ginger. Keep your index finger at the base of the spoon bowl to steady it, and use the spoon edge to scrape off the ginger skin.\n3. __Use a thermometer__. A [candy thermometer](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-use-a-candy-thermometer) or digital instant-read thermometer will allow you to know precisely when the ginger syrup is ready.\nYou can eat candied ginger on its own as a snack, but there are other applications for candied ginger:\n\n1. __Ginger tea__: To make [ginger tea](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/ginger-tea-recipe), pour boiling water over candied ginger and steep until it reaches the desired flavor.\n2. __Gingersnap cookies__: Add chopped candied ginger to gingersnap cookies for a boost of flavor.\n3. __Ice cream__: Garnish ice cream with chopped candied ginger.\n4. __Dipped dark chocolate__: For an easy, elegant dessert, dip candied ginger slices in melted dark chocolate.\n5. __Cocktails__: The leftover cooking liquid from candied ginger is essentially ginger simple syrup. Use it to make sparkling ginger water, as a substitute for ginger ale, or instead of plain simple syrups in cocktails.\nChewy, sweet, and spicy, candied ginger is a delightful standalone treat and an ingredient in many desserts.