Good Product: McNess Ginger Extract

The McNess Company has been in business for almost a hundred years, selling livestock remedies and household products out of horse drawn delivery buggies. They are still in business today, offering high-quality baking and household products in charmingly old-fashioned packaging and bottles like this one.

There is a whole shelf of their products, which include root beer crystals and old-fashioned cocoa and pudding mixes, in a local grocery store. We had never seen ginger extract before so we picked it up on a whim. Extracts are often disappointing and no match for the heady flavors of real vanilla beans or lemon zest. This ginger extract, however, was really something.

We opened it up to smell, and a strong, powerful scent of ginger came out. We could smell that wild tanginess found in fresh ginger. Very promising - but how would it hold up in cooking?

Well, it went into a batch of caramels and came out the other end full of that mild, ripe flavor of real ginger. We were impressed! It's an excellent tool in the baker's cupboard; we can hardly wait to try it in other things.

McNess's old-fashioned products promise to be just as good. Their site oddly does not list the ginger extract, but you can find other flavorings in their online store, including Retro Pure Peppermint, Retro Lemon, and Wonder Flavor - a mix of orange and lemon oils and vanilla extract. Flavorings are $6.99 per bottle.