Yep, it’s undoubtedly good for you, but read up on how to get the most out of these pungent wee cloves.
Well, read the back label! Any TRIMMED garlic sold in New Zealand is NOT New Zealand-grown garlic, but is imported. AND most TRIMMED garlic is from China. Now why would you buy a bundle of Chinese garlic when the season for fresh locally grown garlic is nearly upon us. Just buy single korms (heads) of Californian garlic for the moment, and bide your time. Ours is a’comin’. You can read into this what you will, but all I will say is I am a HUGE supporter of locally grown food. I trust it. It’s traceable. It keeps Kiwis in jobs. It takes just a tiny footstep to transport it around our islands. ‘Nough said.
Well, from time to time we need to have a mini rant! Read all on for all the glories of garlic!
Garlic is delicious when young and fresh, as crisp and juicy as a just-picked apple. But store it we must, to last us through the year. It keeps better if strung up, plaited, in a cool, airy place. Most of us buy garlic in corms – known as bulbs – and the best place to store these is in the vegetable crisper. Take off only the cloves you need, as they will stay moister if attached to the base. Contrary to what many people believe, garlic aids digestion. However, once it starts to sprout it loses its sweet taste and juicy flesh, gets stronger and, eventually, develops a rank flavour. It is wise to remove any sprouts in the cloves as these are the bits that can cause indigestion.
Garlic can be quite sharp and biting to taste; it can also increase the heat of a dish with its pungency. When garlic is crushed, a chemical reaction takes place as the cells are broken down. Crushed paste or juice is very potent. If you want less of a hot bite from garlic, chop it, or if you prefer a milder flavour still, slice it. Garlic is strongest used raw, and mellows during cooking – the longer you cook it, the milder it becomes. Garlic with smaller corms and purplish skin tends to be the hottest.
Basically, the bulbs are leaves which have evolved as storage organs. As the garlic grows, the green leaves can be trimmed off and used as a fresh herb as you would use chives.
I use garlic in generous quantities twelve months of the year, but it’s after Christmas that I really go to town when the new season’s garlic is on sale (that’s in the southern hemisphere – in the north, anytime in June, July and August). What will become the papery wrapping around each clove is still supple and a little moist, and the fat white cloves are juicy and mild in flavour. There is no sign of the sprouting centre which is an indication of maturing garlic, and no hint of acridity. You could, if the fresh hot bite of garlic appeals, literally chomp your way through a whole raw clove.
Some claims about garlic, such as keeping the spooks at bay, may appear far-fetched, but the belief in its antiseptic properties, its ability to destroy bacteria and how it aids digestion, not causes it, as many wrongly believe, have passed from folklore to fact. And, like most other members of the onion family to which it belongs, garlic protects against heart disease. Recent research claims it helps lower cholesterol levels, too. The trouble is, you need to eat a lot of garlic to get the benefits from it. Well and good. I’m all for using several cloves of garlic a day. I never take garlic pills nor do I use ready-prepared garlic. One of the good things about preparing food, is actually preparing it, not squishing something out of a tube or undoing a jar and spooning out the contents. Unwrapping cloves of garlic is therapeutic to me. I know garlic is good for me and I know if I buy fresh garlic and prepare it, it’s fresh. The cloves are like intact capsules of goodness, just waiting to be crushed to disgorge their life-giving properties. And like most fresh food, once it is processed and the cell structure changes (ready-prepared crushed garlic, for instance), the goodness seeps away. I’m not a scientist. I just know this. If you want all the goodness out of the food you eat, prepare it yourself. Prepare it fresh.
Further information here Garlic is cheaper than the doctor
And here’s the link for information on Black Garlic