IT IS POSSIBLE THAT ginger has entered Brazil by the hand of Portuguese colonizers. Originally from Asia, this root has a strong, spicy flavor that never goes unnoticed. Grated fresh, it can be added to soups and broths, and used to flavor salad dressings, cakes and cookies. In Caçapava region of São Paulo state, a popular confection called Taiada is handmade with sugarcane juice, ginger and manioc flour. Giger is also an essential ingredient of Quentão, a traditional hot drink served at Festas Juninas (June Festivities) consisting of ginger boiled with caramelized sugar cloves and cinnamon sticks and mixed with cachaça. The top producer in the country is Espírito Santo.