Garlic is a lovely aromatic bulb that has been cultivated and used throughout history for a variety of healing and culinary needs. With measurable levels of Vitamin C and B6, Zinc, Copper, and Phosphorus Garlic also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties. It is know for helping build a strong intestinal flora and for lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol.
VARIETIES? Purple, White, and Rocambole. Elephant garlic, though often sold beside garlic, is not a member of the Alium family and therefore not a ‘true garlic’ (does not botanically grow like regular garlic), that said though it has a very mild flavor, does not cook well and is best eaten raw.
Garlic is a native of Central Asia where it grows best in sandy soil that is cold; it is related to the common lily.
PICKING, PREPARING AND RECIPEE FOR STORING
I love garlic and add it to almost everything I eat. One of the things that always keeps me from using fresh garlic is the hassle of peeling those little cloves and often I find them rotting, sprouting or shriveled up when I go to use them. After searching for the best location or environment to store my garlic I hit on a way to process them that is fast, easy and leaves them at my fingertips to use a plenty.
Right after I bring them home I sit down and separate the cloves from the head and peel them then I either hand chop them into fine pieces or I dump them into the food processor and chop them up. I then scoop them into a cute little pint jar (1 head usually results in about an inch in the bottom of the jar) and cover them with a high quality olive oil to the brim of the jar. I now have garlic I can fish out when I just want garlic (using a fork allows the oil to sift through and all you have are the chopped up garlic) or an aromatic-garlic-infused-olive oil I use for cooking or coating my vegetables before roasting, giving everything a subtle garlic overtone. Two products, one container, fresh garlic AND ease of use!
As I consume the garlic oil I top off the jar and store it in the refrigerator (garlic oil becomes solid after 24+ hours in the fridge and turns liquid quickly in a warm kitchen). There are products like this on the market but compare PRICE, QUALITY, FLAVOR and INGREDIENT LIST, remember that you are striving to be a QUALITARIAN. It also makes a nice gift for the cook in your life, start collecting cute jars.
An amazing video on peeling garlic.