Ginger is one of the world's oldest and most popular spices. Cultivated in the tropical forests of southeast Asia for more than 3,000 years, ginger was one of the first spices to reach the Mediterranean. By the 9th century, ginger was so popular in Europe that it was placed on the table, just as salt and pepper are today.
China and India produce the largest amounts of ginger, but the best quality ginger is grown in Jamaica.
Wild peach trees still grow in China, their original home, and for the Chinese, the peach is a symbol of immortality.
Cultivation of the peach spread from China to Kashmir and Persia where it flourished so well that it came to be regarded as a native fruit, hence the botanical name, ''Prunus persica.'' From Persia (modern-day Iran), peaches were then grown in Greece, Rome, and Spain. Spaniards first brought the peach to America in the 16th century. During the 20th century, American growers, especially in California, have dominated the world production of the peach.
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Starting in 1975, the company broadened its focus to include bagged teas and then began to sell a full line of traditional, specialty blend and herbal teas directly to fine restaurants and through a mail-order catalog to consumers.
Today, Stash Tea is enjoying steady growth and has become one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States, with products available through foodservice, grocery stores, tea and coffee shops, club stores, mass merchandisers, natural foods stores, mail order, and the Internet. Stash Tea is also available in Canada and in several foreign countries.
The company derives its name from an entertaining aspect of tea folklore. In earlier centuries, tea was a valuable commodity traditionally transported by clipper ship. The ship's captain often was presented with some of the finest teas for his personal use. This supply was his "stash," stowed carefully as his "private reserve." Today, the term still is used to denote anything put away carefully because of its preciousness.