There is "lime-cured ginger" in Italian translation as "zenzero tagliato con la limetta", which means lime fruit, but in Czech print there is "vápnem ošetřený zázvor", which is ginger cured with mineral lime.
So there are two interpretations: pickling and bleaching.
Suppose we are able to rule out other possibilities because they weren't as common at the time, so they would have needed some explanation.
The brownish color of the cured powder found in book IV may provide a small clue, but maybe even bleached powder could have darkened after some time.

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    An excellent question and one not (as far as I can tell) addressed in the English language version of the books. Both mentions merely refer to "lime" without additional commentary. It could easily be pickling in slaked lime or pickling in lime fruit juice
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2021 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


This almost certainly refers to the mineral, not the lime fruit. From https://www.bizencyclopedia.com/articles/view/6800/149

Bleached ginger is produced by dipping scrapped fresh ginger in a slurry of slaked lime, Ca(OH)2, (1 kg of slaked lime/120 kg of water) followed by sun drying.
As the water adhering to the rhizomes dry, the ginger is again dipped in the slurry. This process is repeated until the rhizomes become uniformly white in colour.
Dry ginger can also be bleached by the similar process. Liming gives ginger a better appearance and less susceptibility to the attack of insect pests during storage and shipping.

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    @Valorum I'd call that lime-pickled ginger. Sure, pickling and curing both refer to preservation, but "cured" tends to imply that the end product is relatively dry, whereas pickles tend to be wet.
    – PM 2Ring
    Sep 6, 2021 at 13:39
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    Pickled ginger can also be dried afterwards and powdered
    – Valorum
    Sep 6, 2021 at 13:43
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    The answer states: "...uniformly white in colour." But Striking the Balance Ch.VII reads: "...bowl full of brownish powder. ... Not only was it ginger, it was lime cured,..."
    – exim
    Sep 6, 2021 at 20:50
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    @exim Ok. You should add that quote to your question. I've never encountered lime-cured ginger myself, AFAIK, but I often use ginger in my cooking, both fresh and powdered. Finely chopped fresh ginger is a very pale brown, but soon turns a darker brown hue. Powdered ginger usually has a brownish tinge, and it wouldn't surprise me if lime-cured ginger gets that tinge when it's ground.
    – PM 2Ring
    Sep 6, 2021 at 21:02
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    @exim Sorry, I can't see any mention of preservation, taste, ingestion, or psychoactivity in your question. If you want those factors addressed you should edit your question to make that explicit.
    – PM 2Ring
    Sep 7, 2021 at 8:58

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