Garlic - How To Use

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


Garlic is one of the 700 varieties in the onion family. This vegetable amplifies and brings together other flavours. It has a distinctive flavour with an often-pungent smell, sometimes sulphurous and sweet before cooking. Fresh mature bulbs tend to be more potent, but you should avoid garlic with fresh green shoots as the garlic then becomes more bitter. Garlic is said to be native to Central Asia, with China as the largest producer. 

What flavours go with garlic?

In Asian cooking, it paints a triptych alongside onions and ginger. In Spanish cuisine Garlic partners with almonds very well. The Spanish cold soup of 'ajo blanco' is one such example. Other examples that pair with Garlic are;

  • Basil
  • Chilli
  • Ginger
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Tomato
  • Walnuts

The latter is a popular flavour combination in various countries, such as the Turkish sauce 'tarator'. Garlic and Parsley are considered a perfect marriage to mask bad breath. Our Middle Eastern range of BAQA has sublime garlicky undertones that encompass many of the above. 

Health Profile

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

Interesting Facts

  • Garlic 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. In today's world, that may be a reason for getting cold feet!
  • In ancient myths, garlic was a protector of evil spirits and vampires.
  • Garlic often fell out of fashion because of its pungent smell, but it is very popular in Indian and Mediterranean dishes today.
  • Older generations would often sleep with garlic under their 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 complement asafoetida spice with its comparable sulphur compounds and chilli capsaicin compounds that give complexity to the heat of the garlic by exciting the tongue's temperature receptors. 

Blends to try with Garlic

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