Rodney Meyers, age 12, of Shreveport, La., for his question:
Ginger is a popular flavoring that comes from the roots of the ginger plant. Although the plant is a native of the East Indies, it has been introduced into and is now widely grown in Japan, the West Indies, South America and West Africa.
Some of the world's finest ginger now comes from Puerto Rico and Jamaica.
Ginger is used to flavor foods, such as gingerbread and gingersnaps. It is also used as a flavoring to make such drinks as ginger ale and ginger beer.
To make black ginger, the roots of the ginger plant are dug up and dried whole after the leaves wither. To make white ginger, the roots are scraped and washed before they are dried. Also, ginger can be made into extract form or into preserved form, made by boiling it in syrup.