Food

Garlic

Garlic is truly global product, found in kitchens throughout the world. Yet it has a “complicated” reputation of being “stinky”, but garlic keeps blood “fluid” preventing blood clods.

It has an especially important role in the cultures of southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

The cultivation of garlic follows closely the evolution of civilization, as we know it.

Precursor of today’s garlic is thought to have been cultivates approximately 10,000 years ago by hunter gatherers in central Asian mountains, then transported eastward to China, and later westward to Europe

China, today, is one of the largest garlic producers. Spain on the other hand is the fourth largest.

Its medicinal properties have long been recognized in ancient Egypt, eating agrlic was considered to strengthen the body, and was provided to slaves who built the pyramids.

Roman gladiators also ate it, believing that it had stimulating qualities. Some pundits thought garlic to be an aphrodisiac.

Babylonian tablets dating back to 1600 – 1700 B C contain many references to garlic use, and Greeks used a lot of this odoriferous food and still do.

Garlic is easy to grow. All you have to do is to separate the cloves and bury each clove about 10 – 12 centimetres deep in the soil.

Dioscorides (40 – 90 A D ) mentions in his book (Materia Medica) 23 medical uses of garlic, including cleaning arteries, and intestinal parasites, as a diuretic, help fight against diarrhoea, dysentery, serves as a sedative for asthma, bronchitis and as a blood thinner.

Dr Pasteur demonstrated its antibiotic properties.

Garlic contains allicin (much like onions, chives, leeks) and may be used to reduce blood pressure.

Some researchers even suggest garlic can reduce cancer cells and cure prostate.

Garlic smells only after its cells have been ruptured when the allicin is released.

You can cut the top of a garlic bulb, moisten it with extra virgin olive oil and bake it to soften it, then press the paste out and sue it in different preparations including aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and in tzaziki the Greek yoghurt cucumber, salt and an pepper accompaniment to all kinds of Greek specialties.

In haute cuisine, chefs simply fry garlic cloves in butter or oil until they brown and then remove them. The flavour is leached and suffices to flavour the dish being prepared.

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