Enjoyed in cuisines the world over for its warm, spicy-sweet aroma and flavor, ginger complements both sweet (think gingerbread) and savory (think stir fry) dishes. Originating in tropical Southeast Asia, ginger has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years. Ancient medical records indicate that it was used in teas, baths, and chest compresses, and texts dating as far back as ancient China and India suggest ginger for healthy digestion. The Romans introduced ginger to Northern Europe, where it was used in cakes, biscuits and other sweet dishes. By the 14th century, it rivaled pepper in popularity, and when the plague hit, ginger, with its antiseptic properties and sulfur content, was considered by some a worthy antidote.