Garlic - How To Use

(Also known as Camphor of the Poor and Stinking Rose)

Profile

Fresh mature bulbs tend to be more potent, but you should avoid garlic with fresh green shoots. The garlic then becomes more bitter. You can still use the garlic, but you should remove the green shoots. Garlic is said to be native to Central Asia. China is the largest producer of garlic. Garlic amplifies and brings together other flavours. It has a distinctive flavour with an often-pungent smell, sometimes sulphurous and sweet, before cooking. In Asian cooking, it paints a triptych alongside onions and ginger. Although we are not sure if they are first or second cousins once removed, garlic is related to onions, leeks, shallots and a few others that would like to remain nameless. Garlic is one of 700 varieties in the onion family. 

Health

Modern research suggests that garlic improves cholesterol levels and slightly reduces high blood pressure with additional antioxidant benefits.

Interesting Facts

  • It is undoubtedly one of the most pungent spices held in high esteem for several thousand years. The Grecian physician Galen labelled garlic as a great remedy.
  • Egyptian medical papyrus (paper) from 1550 BC features 22 different garlic formulas for various ailments. Hieroglyphic inscriptions describe how the slaves who built the Egyptian pyramids were given garlic for disease prevention and maintenance of their physical strength.
  • The Chinese cultivated garlic for its healing properties and Roman soldiers ate it before fighting to give them strength and courage.
  • In ancient Greece, brides would carry garlic and other herbs in a bouquet. Perhaps that might be one way to get cold feet in today's world.
  • In ancient myths, garlic was a protector of evil spirits and vampires.
  • It often fell out of fashion because of its pungent smell, but it is very popular in Indian and Mediterranean dishes today.
  • Often was the case; older generations would sleep with garlic under the pillow when they were ill. Our co-founder Myles Irish grandfather used to sleep with garlic under his pillow to draw the toxins out when ill, so he could keep the body healthy and infection-free. Needless to say, no hugs for grandad on either side of his cold and flu symptoms. 

Chief flavour profile

Allicin: (sulphurous, spicy and hot) the garlic smell comes from the sulphur flavour compounds. They typically complement other cooked meats with the same sulphur compounds. The allicin compound does compliment asafoetida spice with its comparable sulphur compounds and chilli capsaicin compounds that give complexity to the heat of the garlic by exciting the tongues temperature receptors. 

Blends to try with Garlic
  • Advieh MAHI
  • BĀQA
  • MITMITA
  • SOFRITO
  • VEGETŌ
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