Allium sativum, more often known as garlic, is a species of the onion family, Alliaceae. Onion, leek, shallot, rakkyo, and chive are all near relatives. In nearly every culture, garlic has been used for centuries for its flavor and medical properties. The bulb of the garlic plant is the most used component. Cloves are the fleshy pieces that make up the bulb’s divisions. Cloves can be eaten or utilized in medical preparations. When cooked, their signature spiciness becomes more subtle and sweet. The leaves and the blossoms are edible, though they are best eaten when young and fragile. The root cluster connected to the bottom of the bulb is the only non-edible portion of the plant. In China, the sticky liquid found in the bulb cloves is used to repair broken glass and porcelain pieces. Alliumphobia describes an irrational dread of garlic.
No one knows for sure where the domesticated species came from. From the dawn of human civilization, several types have been known in various places of the world. China is the original home of elephant garlic, one of the world’s most well-known types of garlic. They have a long shelf life and can be eaten in various forms (fresh, fried, fermented, dried). In temperate regions, they can be planted year-round with no trouble. Although garlic can be grown using both a sexual and an asexual method, most cultivable kinds are spread from clove to clove. Cloves are planted in the fall, about six weeks before the ground freezes, and harvested in the late spring in regions with cold winters. Pests and illnesses usually are kept away from the plants. These plants are well-known for their ability to deter rabbits and moles. Nematodes and white rot disease are particularly problematic for garlic because they can live in the soil indefinitely. Pink root, a non-lethal disorder characterized by pink, stunted roots, is also a problem for them. The size of the clove matters greatly while planting them. Large cloves need room to develop into full size since they yield enormous heads. Soil heavy in organic matter is ideal, although plants thrive at various pH levels.
Hardneck garlic and softneck garlic are two varieties of the same species. Plant development is more sensitive to latitude changes. Garlic with a stiff neck is grown in colder climates, while garlic with a soft neck is grown nearer the equator. You can buy garlic scapes on their own and use them in recipes. Garlic is grown in many countries, but China is the world leader in output. It’s responsible for 7.7 percent of global work, or 10.5 million metric tons annually. India, South Korea, Russia, and the United States are China’s rivals. The intense flavor of garlic is enjoyed as a flavoring or condiment worldwide. In eastern Asia, southern Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and some regions of South and Central America, it is one of the most fundamental
agents of numerous delicacies. Onion, ginger, and tomato are frequently used alongside it. Typical uses include making traditional garlic bread by spreading them on bread. Garlic cloves flavor oils in various foods, including vegetables, meats, breads, and pasta. In some countries, cloves are commonly pickled in salt, sugar, and spices. Pickled cloves are a popular appetizer in Eastern Europe. Young, immature scapes are delicious and sensitive. In many regions of the world, the leaves are a staple vegetable. Fry the leaves with some meat, eggs, and vegetables. The flavor of garlic powder is different from that of fresh garlic.
Garlic needs to be kept dormant. Therefore, it’s usually kept somewhere warm and dry. In essence, it is hanged. The softneck types are plaited because they are braided together in strands. Garlic is also preserved in oil to make flavored oil, however this method needs to be handled with care because it allows the spoilage bacteria Clostridium botulinum to proliferate, rendering the garlic unusable. Even if you refrigerate the jar of garlic in oil, it will eventually go wrong. After being peeled, cloves can be preserved in the fridge by soaking them in vinegar or wine. When stored with the lid on, garlic lasts longer. It is estimated that garlic has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes since at least the time the Giza pyramids were constructed thousands of years ago. Although they have been shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties in test tubes, these effects have been proven relatively minor in humans. It has been promoted as a possible protection against cancer and heart disease. It has potential as a colon and stomach cancer preventative. People in regions where garlic is a common ingredient have a lower cancer rate than in areas where it is not.
In people with elevated cholesterol, garlic extract reduced arterial hardening. Catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells is responsible for garlic’s vasodilatory impact. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cellular signaling chemical with cardioprotective properties. It has been shown to lessen hyperlipidemia and platelet aggregation. In addition to reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications, it helps keep blood glucose levels stable. Cloves are also used to treat thrush and gastrointestinal and other fungal infections. The risk of beriberi is decreased because thiamin absorption is enhanced. In male rats, it causes a rise in testosterone. It has beneficial and harmful effects; for example, allyl methyl sulfide (AMS) induces halitosis and sweating. The gas AMS is formed in the blood during the metabolism of garlic and then travels through the body to the lungs and out through the skin pores.
The chemical allicin, which is high in sulfur, is responsible for the pungent odor of raw garlic. Some people are allergic to garlic and experience similar symptoms, including stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. They have been linked to both good and evil throughout history. People in many European countries think they can help ward off the influence of white magic and evil spirits. Garlic’s antimicrobial and antifungal characteristics have led some to assume it is responsible for evil. Garlic is a popular culinary ingredient and religious offering in Hinduism. In Jainism, garlic and onions are forbidden staples. Garlic is seen as a distraction during prayer. Thus Muslims try to avoid eating it before heading to the mosque. Whatever your beliefs, one thing is sure: garlic is a fantastic flavor enhancer in the kitchen. Let’s eat some garlic.
Read also: The Way To Select The Proper Cooking Oil