Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic is one of the most popular of the herbs and spices for many reasons, one is the flavour it adds to dishes and the other is the myriad of health benefits it offers.

Flavour

Raw garlic has a very strong, pungent and heated taste.

Garlic has a strong, spicy flavour that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking. While cooking softens the flavour, roasting gives garlic a well-balanced, delicate, nutty flavour.

Aroma

When a garlic bulb is whole it has very little aroma. When a cloves is cut or bruised the allinase is released giving it the pungent, spicy and mellow smell it is known for.

Pairing

Garlic is used in all cuisines across the world. It's ideal in stir fries, curries, soups and sauces and pairs perfectly with onions, tomatoes, chilli, ginger, basil, turmeric, beans, chicken, pork and seafood.

Growing Garlic

Propagation is by placing a single clove in the ground, it will take 5 months for this plant to reach maturity. Bending the flower and stems to the ground will result in more focus being put in the growing of the bulb of garlic instead of the flowers.

If you’re in a hot environment, chilling the clove in the fridge before planting will help with leaf development and maturation.

It is best to grow garlic in a sunny location that is well drained. Also it is best not to plant garlic near peas and beans as it is believed that this will hinder growth. When the leaves have yellowed completely it is than time to dig up the bulbs.

History

Slaves building the pyramids were given garlic to give them strength. The first workers strike then occurred when, to save money, they removed the garlic from their slaves diet. A garlic clove was worn around the neck to ward off evil.

During World War I soldiers depended on garlic for its antiseptic properties, the used the garlic juice on swabs of sterile sphagnum moss. It was said that this prevented gangrene and sepsis when in the trenches.

It was believed that garlic had a significant role in restoring youth and health.

To prepare a child for life a baby was baptised by having a clove of garlic rubbed on them and then giving them a sip of wine.

Medicinal Benefits of Garlic

Slaves building the Egyptian pyramids were given garlic to give them strength. The first workers strike then occurred when, to save money, they removed the garlic from their slaves diet.

A garlic clove was worn around the neck to ward off evil.

During World War I, soldiers depended on garlic for its antiseptic properties. They used the garlic juice on swabs of sterile sphagnum moss. It was said that this prevented gangrene and sepsis when in the trenches.

It was believed that garlic had a significant role in restoring youth and health.

To prepare a child for life a baby was baptised by having a clove of garlic rubbed on them and then giving them a sip of wine.

Facts about Garlic

If your hands have the garlic smell on them you can remove it by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steal object.

Common Questions

Can I use garlic leaves?

Generally garlic leaves have a wonderful garlic taste, they can be substituted in a recipe for a milder flavour. The amount you substitute differs quite a lot depending on the potency of the leaves. It is best to judge via taste.

Does garlic go off?

As garlic gets older is does get a sharper and spicier flavour. The garlic will begin to sprout though at this point the garlic can still be used if you cut the sprout off. The best way to tell if your garlic is no longer good is to look at it. If there are brown spots and the clove goes soft this means that it has started to rot so it is best not to consume.

Why does garlic make your breath smell?

When cutting into garlic, a reaction occurs that releases the classic garlicky aroma. It than reacts with bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. A good way to counteract this smell is to eat parsley, or to drink milk while you are eating garlic.