Flavor of the Month: Ginger

Photo: Corbis

Ginger has always been big in December, season of sweet-and-spicy gingerbread cookies and edible houses. But lately, the tropical rhizome has crept into all sorts of other, less predictable foodstuffs. It’s even emerged as a popular restaurant name: A downtown Ginger serves sushi, an uptown one specializes in healthy Chinese, and three unaffiliated Wild Gingers (at last count) do various riffs on Southeast Asian cooking. At the Pegu Club, mixology maestro Audrey Saunders enlivens her sublime Gin-Gin Mule and Jamaican Firefly with homemade ginger beer. Below, a few more of the plant’s invigorating guises.

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company Sheep’s Milk Ginger Yogurt
Crystallized ginger bits add texture and sweetness to creamy, tangy yogurt made from the milk of Hudson Valley sheep. (At Commodities Natural Market, 165 First Ave., nr. 10th St.; 212-260-2600.)

Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale
This cult-favorite Japanese brewer adds fresh ginger to the brew kettle to subtly balanced effect. A great match with spicy Asian food. (At American Beer Distributing Co., 256 Court St., nr. Kane St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 718-875-0226.)

Deep Mountain Ginger
Maple Syrup Your oatmeal deserves nothing less than this pure, rich Vermont syrup, imbued with a spicy ginger kick. (At Union Square Greenmarket, Fridays and Saturdays.)

Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate With Crystallized Ginger Pieces
New to the line of organic chocolate made in Italy, this 3.5-ounce bar has a grainy texture and a barely sweet, conspicuously gingery flavor. (At LifeThyme, 410 Sixth Ave., nr. 9th St.; 212-420-9099.)

Flavor of the Month: Ginger