Allium sativum L.

Garlic is an annual bulbous plant of the lily family. It grows about 70 centimetres high and has flat, broad, greenish leaves. It blooms in July and August with an umbel of small white flowers. The underground compound bulb comprises roughly 12 individual cloves. As soon as the green leaves wilt, the bulb is harvested, dried and then peeled, ground or granulated. Fresh garlic is often pickled, sometimes in aromatised liquids (vinegar).

Countries of origin

Asia (particularly China), Central and Southern Europe, America
Garlic comes from Central Asia, where it has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. It played an important role in the building of the pyramids: slaves received a portion of garlic every day to promote strength and stamina. In Greece, it helped athletes prepare for competitions, and soldiers received garlic before going to battle. Today, the plant is cultivated all over the world, although China is considered a major producer.

Flavour and aroma

Garlic has a strong, penetrating and somewhat sulphurlike aroma. Its flavour is pungent, very intense and slightly biting like onion. Meat, fish, game and all Mediterranean dishes, sausage products, sauces, soups, salad, vegetables and shellfish Most people have a love or hate relationship with garlic. The reason for this strict division is its sharp flavour and strong, distinct aroma, which lasts full strength long after enjoying a garlic dish. Garlic is most popular in Southern Europe. It is perfect for seasoning any number of meat dishes, salads, sauces, pestos and vegetables, as well as for making sausage - a use that takes advantage of the strongly disinfectant nature of the allicin garlic contains.

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