Thursday, March 01, 2007

Garlic, it used to be so simple.

Garlic is believed to originate from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and western China). This was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis based on molecular and biochemical markers Garlic spread to the Mediterranean in ancient times. It was already grown in Egypt in 1600 BC. Garlic has been rare in traditional English Cuisine, though it has been documented as early as 1548. Garlic has proven most popular in the cuisine of the Mediterranean and costal Europe. Today garlic is an indispensable ingredient to even the most un-seasoned home cook in the U.S.

The whole of the garlic plant is edible, while not all at the same stage of maturity though. Green Garlic, or spring garlic is the tender young shoot of an immature garlic plant, at this point there is no bulb as the stalk is tender and flavorful. This stage of garlic is very popular among farmers markets during the spring time.

Garlic Scapes are the unopened flower pods of the garlic plant. Some varieties of Garlic provide edible, flavorful Scapes.

Garlic Flowers are available and provide both decorative qualities as well as edible flowers.

Garlic Shoots are available from The Chef’s Garden and are the white root tendrils at the bottom of the garlic bulb. This product is usually allowed to dry and crumble away from the bulb, but in this case are harvested before this happens. Fresh Garlic shoots are pleasantly crisp and juicy with strong garlic flavor.

For an in depth look at the many varieties of garlic, and how to grow your own, or purchase unique garlic and garlic products try The Garlic Store online. Wikipedia also delivers a informative overview of garlic.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

And if you find that interesting enough and have time to waste and finances to travel, you should check out the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July: