What Is Garlic
Many of you probably have a general idea of what is garlic, but you probably don’t know how to properly describe it. Garlic is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Allium family of the Liliaceae and is made of long leaves, small whiteish flowers and of a sort of encapsulated fruit containing seeds, otherwise known as the bulb.
Garlic usually has a quite unique scent and flavour and is also covered by a layer of skin rasembling really thin paper. Inside, it contains several individual pieces called cloves.
This product has a great importance in economy, as any other largely consumed agricultural product. Coming originally from Asia, it’s now grown in Spain, Greece, Italy, France, India, China, Egypt, Mexico, Argentina and many other countries throughout the globe. It is usually planted during winter on around the beginning of the spring depending on the garlic variety.
What is garlic in Spanish culture?
Garlic is a pretty common ingredient in many culture’s traditional cuisine, but is especially present in Spanish cooking. Some of our best well-known dishes are salmorejo (traditional purée consisting of tomato, oil, bread and garlic), pollo al ajillo (garlic sautéed chicken), Adalusian gazpacho, aioli (Mediterranean sauce made with garlic and olive oil), garlic bread, among many others were garlic is a key factor. It is also commonly used to season meat and fish dishes and as well as Spanish omelette or scrambled eggs.
What are the main health beenfits of garlic?
Many of you might not know this but garlic is a product used in medicine given as it has many health benefits.
Among the many positive effects it can have in our health we find that it reduces blood pressure, which results on a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular deseases. It is also effective against diabetes, stress and even depression. Garlic also contains antioxidants that can help prevent Alzheimer’s desease and dementia. It improves our bone’s health, which means it’s great preventing osteoporosis besides also helping prevent certain types of cancer, such as stomach and colon cancer, among others. One of its most popular and interesting uses is as an expectorant to help with colds.
Another purpose garlic is used for is to improve athletic performance. Traditionally this was done in ancient civilizations to reduce fatigue and increase worker’s energy and capacity. In terms of sports it was given to Olympians in Ancient Greece. and current studies carried out with rodents have shown that garlic does increase athletic performance.
What is garlic in popular culture?
Garlic is quite present not only in traditional cuisine, but also in popular culture. We can find several sayings and expressions containing the word “garlic”, such as the following: “Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes”or “garlic is the catsup of intellectuals”.
This product is also present in literature and popular culture, especially related with vampires.
Main Garlic Varieties:
1. White Spring Garlic:
This is the most common and traditional garlic. It has a light but rich flavor and lasts a long time when preserved in the right conditions. The garlic head usually contains more cloves that other garlic varieties, that are also fleshier and last longer. It is used for many types of stews, salads and sautéed dishes, especially in Mediterranean cuisine.
2. Black Garlic:
Black garlic is normal white garlic after going throught a fermentation process. This enhances the product’s natural and original benefits. Fermentation happens at hight temperatures, which causes garlic to turn black, acquire a softer, creamier texture and also its particular flavor. Like wine, black garlic gets batter as the years go by.
3. Pink Garlic or Pink Lautrec Garlic:
It’s one of the strongest garlics in terms of flavor and resistance. Unlike other varieties, it is planted between March and June and harvested during the winter. For cooking it is usually peeled and eaten raw with salads, fried or boiled with water, oil and lemon. The most famous pink garlic is grown in the French region of Lautrec.
4. Violet Spring Garlic:
Violet spring garlic stands out thanks to its strong flavor, much like pink garlic. It is planted between September and November and harvested around May-June. Its outer layers and interior cloves both have a violet hue, which is also what this garlic is known for. Furthermore, it has a great resistance against humidity.
5. Purple Garlic:
Purple garlic has one of the mildest flavors among all garlic varieties, although slighlty spicy. They ripen before white garlic and are usually bigger. However, they don’t last as long even when preserved under the proper conditions. They are purple on the outside and can be eaten raw with a salad or fried.
6. Brown Garlic:
Along with purple and whwite, brown garlic has the mildest taste, even though it’s still a bit spicy. This makes brown garlic perfect to perfume any dish.
At Dispaman, we are expert garlic growers with over 70 years of experience offering the best quality produce that the fields of Castilla La Mancha have to offer. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information or would like to get in touch with our sales department.