Garlic's Ancient History
You can say whatever you want about 'Garlic', to me its a precious gem that has earned a place in every kitchen around the world. It can be processed in many forms to fit several storage needs and uses, fresh, powder, dried, grind and more. This unique ingredient claims many uses. It's believe to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Its use has been recorded throughout history for parasites, respiratory problems, poor digestion and low energy treatments. On a more appetizing note, garlic can be successfully applied to any cooking technique there is. Roasted, grilled, baked, steamed, sautéed or boiled it's flavor will enhance the most insipid dish.
It holds a part in history, Garlic has been mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud, even Hippocrates had something to say about it. Urban Legends tell the tale that it can keep "vampires" away. The production of these unique bulbs was estimated to 15,686,310 tons in 2008. Places like China, India, South Korea, Egypt, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Italy and Ukraine have an active participation and financial investment on the growth and distribution of garlic around the world.
As a strong leader, Garlic can stand on its own and be the center of any successful recipe or, it can be a supportive team player taking a step back and bringing out the best of any other ingredients paired with. To make it even more versatile the garlic flower and leaves are also edible, so its whole being has a purpose. Other notorious members of the garlic family are onions, chives, leeks and shallots (if garlic and a red onion had a baby, that would be a shallot) Whether is cooked or raw you can guarantee a nutty, aromatic sweet and spicy kick to any combination of flavors.
For sure not recommended during first date dinners, unless you want to say goodnight early. Side effects include, halitosis and sudden garlicky pungent sweats, but if you are sharing the table with other foodies, most likely the garlic breath if not appreciated at least it will be gracefully understood.
The next time you are in the kitchen feeling brave and creative, don't be afraid a little garlic can make a big difference on any traditional recipe. But remember the rule of less is more applies to this ancient titan. Enjoy!