For some it is the dearest spice that you never want to do without, for others it brings tears to the eyes with the “stench”. In fact, there is always some kind of love-hate relationship with garlic.
Garlic is indispensable in some national kitchens, for example for Greek or Mediterranean cuisine.
The intensely tasting spice consists of a bulb that consists of several cloves of garlic. These toes are small segments that contain the actual fruit and are held together by thin, whitish membranes.
Origin & season
Garlic was discovered and cultivated in Central and Central Asia. The spice finally made its way to Europe via Egypt. Garlic is not demanding and is therefore grown worldwide. The most important cultivation countries, however, are found in the Balkans in southern Europe, in Taiwan, California and China.
The main season for outdoor garlic is from June to September. The rest of the year it can be grown in the greenhouse.
Purchasing and storage
When shopping, you should make sure that the stems are lush, green and the thin membranes between the individual toes are pink.
The garlic bulbs should be stored in a cool and dry place , ideally in the vegetable drawer . If you break open the whole bulb, you should use up the individual cloves of garlic within 8-12 days, otherwise they will dry out.
Tip: To preserve garlic, you can put peeled garlic cloves in neutral oil (e.g. olive oil). You can also add a few peppercorns or chili peppers to the glass.
Garlic has a rather sharp and strong taste, but it also has sweetish components.
The consumption of garlic usually leaves a “flag” on the connoisseur – you can still smell it hours later that he has eaten garlic.
Unfortunately, this unpleasant garlic odor after consuming the tuber cannot be completely prevented, as the odor is secreted directly through the lungs and skin. Home remedies such as drinking a glass of milk or a sharp chewing gum unfortunately only help temporarily.
Use in the kitchen
In the Mediterranean region, garlic is seasoned much more intensively than in Germany. While you might use one or two cloves of garlic in a dish here, it can get half a tuber to a whole if some people eat with it.
Due to the strong taste of garlic, you should be careful when seasoning it. The rule of thumb when seasoning with garlic is: As much as necessary, as little as possible!
Tip: You can also use garlic sparingly, for example by rubbing the pot with a freshly peeled clove of garlic.
How to use garlic:
As a whole toe: peeled for spitting roasts and vegetables.
As a whole toe, including the shell: the shell is only broken open by pressing firmly (e.g. with the flat side of a knife) and can thus be cooked in various dishes.
Sliced or cut into small pieces: steamed in a pan with oil, they are later added to the respective dish.
Pressed: the garlic juice obtained through a garlic press can be used in both cold and warm dishes.
Info: When frying garlic, care should be taken that the frying does not take too long, as otherwise it releases a rather unpleasant heat.
Garlic can be used to refine all kinds of dishes:
- Garlic is baked into bread or made into garlic butter together with butter.
- It can also be used to make garlic soup.
- Garlic is also often used in salad dressings and in marinades for meat, fish and vegetables.
- But also for cheese dishes, vegetable dishes, mushroom dishes, soups and stews as well as for pasta and rice dishes.
The most important medicinal effects of garlic are due to the allicin it contains.
- Garlic inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi and is even slightly antiviral.
- Garlic has a beneficial effect on high blood pressure.
- It can heal stomach and intestinal infections, relieve constipation and help with diarrhea.
- Garlic stimulates the metabolism and has an antibiotic effect.
- Also used for colds and flu.
Info: If you don’t like the taste of garlic, you can also use tablets and dragees from the pharmacy.