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Garlic Is Popular In Many Cultures

Garlic is a member of lily family. This specie is one of the most popular herbs used today. It dates back thousands of years, and was grown throughout Syria and Egypt. The Chinese have also used the herb for centuries. Back in time, Roman athletes ate the herb for strength.

Today there are three different varieties grown commercially throughout the world. The Creole or White is grown in America. The Italian or Mexican has a pink tone sheath, and the Tahiti bulb is large and is around four to six inches in diameter. In the United States many southern states as well as Oregon, Texas, and California grow the herb commercially.

Garlic Bulb

Bulb Of Garlic

Peeled Clove

Peeled Clove

Growing Garlic

Garlic isn't hard to grow and in northern climates, you can plant in early spring. Southern climates can plant in the fall and the spring. The first step is to take the bulb and separate each clove. The onion plant is also done the same way.

The soil should be rich, sandy and moist. A good rule of thumb is to plant the cloves about two inches in depth and about three inches apart, with the pointed end up. This herb can be fertilized and the area needs to be free of weeds. The soil should also be kept cultivated.

Depending on your geographic location, either late summer when the tops die down or May through July, the herb should be pulled from the ground. Take the the foliage and bulbs and dry them in open air for two to three weeks. It is very popular in Italy to see braided strings of this wonderful herb hanging from fresh markets.

Question David Sebastian

I just pulled about 25 garlic plants to make room for other things. Now I need to know how to preserve them. They were plants from last year I think were tilled under last fall and came up on their own this spring. Thanks.

Hi David,
There are a couple of different methods you can do to preserve this specie for future use. One method is drying.

Go ahead and peel the cloves and slice very thin. Dry them until crisp. When you dry any fresh herb or spice, your goal is to keep it out of the sun, and have good air movement. You can then put the dried specimen in a dehydrator for a couple of days at around 115 degrees F. Store in a well sealed container at room temperature.

You can put the dried garlic in the freezer in the form of flakes, and when you want to use it, grind it up, as the taste remains strong. I have done this method and it works well.

You can also use a curing method. Spread plants out and once again protect from sun or rain. You can also hang the plants out of direct sunlight. Many people in Italy will use this method. It should be hung with the temperature being around 80°F.

Of course you can use some fresh also. There is nothing like fresh garlic on a variety of dishes.

There are so many different culinary uses with a full bulb. The cloves can be used fresh daily in just about any dish imaginable. The bulbs grown in Europe tend to have a milder flavor than the bulbs grown in North America. Maybe this explains why Americans tend to be skimpy with this specimen compared with Europeans.

In Greece, many workmen make a clove a part of their everyday lunch. I could name hundreds of different dishes but a couple do come to mind. A tomato based sauce is best with a fresh clove. This herb is very popular with shellfish, as well as many flavored soups, meats, pickles, and poultry. The fresh cloves can be stored in olive oil for easy access for any meal preparation.

Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt

Garlic salt and powder are also very popular with today's cooks. The salt is made from dried cloves and sodium chloride. The powder is freshly made from dried cloves that have been crushed. Herbee and I have fresh salt and powder available at any time in the kitchen. We will use one or the other depending on what we're preparing.

Put a clove in herb vinegars, which add so much flavor to cooked greens and cabbage. You can plant this herb in any size garden, or just make it part of your outdoor herb area. Another great option is to put this specie in a planter.

The cloves also have medicinal benefits and have had for years. The oil can be used in helping an ear infection as well as muscle pain and sprains. It is a good maintenance for heart patients. It is known to destroy some types of cancers. It can also help in reducing blood clots as well as blood pressure. Be sure to consult a health care professional before using garlic for medicinal purposes.

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Some people find this herb very strong and hesitate to use it. Chewing a fresh sprig of parsley after having this wonderful herb will cleanse the breath and palette. Take the time to research and learn what natural plants you can grow and use in your own kitchen. Plan now for your next growing season.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Cooking Herbs --- Drying Herbs

Herb Vinegars With Garlic --- Plan Your Herb Gardens

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