Garlic galore!

When I kinda felt I knew all about garlic and its different varieties, I see the monstrous elephant garlic variety in the famous grocery in Ketchikan, Alaska Tatsuda’s IGA owned by 4th generation Japanese immigrant Bill Tatsuda and his family.  The giant bulbs of garlic inspired me to dig up this article I wrote some years ago about this very healthy herb used extensively in various cuisines all over the world.

Known as Dracula’s weakness, garlic puts in a lot of flavor in a dish. In most stir-fries and sautéed dishes, garlic along with onion is a main staple ingredient in these dishes, as it gives a strong flavor that goes well with a lot of dishes, whether it is soup, blended with oils and vinaigrette into salad dressings, pasta, stews, and so on. Garlic’s strong flavor and aroma gives the dish a little something extra, like a kick. It also has beneficial effects for a healthy heart.  To release its aroma and flavor, it’s usually minced or crushed before frying.  Garlic has sulfur compounds that have antibacterial and antifungal properties.  They also help with the body’s systems, promoting better health. Some companies have even garlic oil food supplements to utilize these compounds, minus the odor.

For those who want a quick dish in a flash, pasta aglio olio is a very easy dish to do combining garlic with olive oil, chili, and other spices.  This dish may also be modified by adding in vegetables or seafood of choice. In soups, sautéing vegetables in garlic and olive oil is usually the first step to bring out all the flavors and enhance them as well.  The same goes with stir fries and stews.  It’s usually a staple in every household, and it doesn’t need refrigeration. An unusual way to use garlic is at the dessert section of the meal.  Gilroy, California’s garlic capital includes garlic ice cream in its roster of delicacies, garlic crème brulee is also a very interesting dish to try.  Who would have thought that caramelizing this or incorporating them in desserts could result in a surprisingly good dessert?

Garlic is an ingredient that has been necessary in bringing out flavors and enhancing the taste of a dish while providing a lot of health benefits such as thinning the blood, taking care of the heart, and fighting cholesterol.  It has been in a lot of dishes and is available in most diets, whether you’re a carnivore or strictly follow raw vegan diets.  This low-maintenance vegetable is a staple in the household and doesn’t need much refrigeration. It also keeps quite well and a bunch, depending on how often it is used can last quite long. To jazz up a very simple dish, just throw in a few crushed cloves of garlic such as in fried eggs, fried rice, or topping a few fried pieces on grilled steak or sole fish.