Galingale (not your ginger!)
Galingale is not your typical everyday spice. In fact, I am going to bet, you are going what the hell is galingale! I’m glad you asked. This exotic root is so rare that my go to book History of Food by Toussaint-Samat doesn’t even have this listed! I had to go on line to find this spice’s origin. Middle English and French has this as Galingal or Garnigal while in Arabic it is known as Khalanjan. This is a root/rhizome spice, in the ginger family. However do NOT think the two are inter mixable. They aren’t! Ginger has a very spicy taste while galingale is more mellow almost licorices (but not) mild spiciness. The origins seem to be European. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/galingale)
This spice is found in a lot of Medieval recipes. Some sweet and some savory. When using a recipe that calls for galingale don’t use ginger use powdered fennel seeds.
Here is a picture of fresh galingale. Sometimes this can be found in Chinese or Thai stores. I buy it dry and grind the dried root very fine. Do not leave large chunks as the pieces are woody and hard.