Garlic

Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species of the onion family Alliaceae and has throughout history been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

The bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant and normally is divided in numerous cloves. The cloves can be used either raw or cooked and have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavour.

Also edible and milder in flavour are the leaves and flowers.
Garlic has been used in many ancient cultures such as Egypt, China, India or Greece for health benefits. The cloves contain a sulphur-bearing compound called allicin which not only gives garlic its pungen taste and smell but is also responsible for its therapeutic qualities.

Garlic can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and therefore offers protection against heart diseases and strokes. It is said that garlic can prevent certain types of cancer and was used as an antiseptic during World War I and World War II.

Garlic can also be used to cure digestive disorders, coughs, colds or fungal infections.

And garlic was of course used to keep vampires at bay.

But everywhere around the world it is used for its pungent flavour as a seasoning and is a fundamental component in many dishes.

In Europe the most used variety of Garlic has pinkish-grey cloves and a white or grey papery skin. It is normally dried in the sun. But you can also get smoked garlic which has a golden colour and a smoky flavour. You can use the peeled cloves whole, chopped or crushed. You can keep garlic in oil to produce flavoured oil or use garlic powder as a substitute of fresh garlic.

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