Tastey Tuesday: Garlic

Garlic 2008

Garlic 2008

I just harvested my garlic.  I have lots as I grew enough for a friend as well as myself.  Garlic is very easy to grow.  You can even use supermarket cloves but you may get a better yield if you try some of the more noncommercial varieties.  I grow two types of garlic: Chesnok Red which is a hard-neck garlic and Kettle River Giant which is a soft-neck garlic.

Chesnok Red on left; Giant Kettle on right

Chesnok Red on left; Kettle River Giant on right

The Chesnok Red is the better grower in my garden but Kettle River Giant is tastier. Hard neck and soft neck garlic are two different sub-varieties and refers to how the stem grows; in the picture above you can see that the garlic on the right has a more flexible stem.  Earlier in the year, hard neck garlic produced scapes or spires which were great to fry in oil.

I plant garlic on from year to year by keeping and planting them in the fall; in my area you are meant to plant them by Columbus Day; so I have been growing these two varieties for over 5 year now. Perhaps I shouldl try a new variety next year?  I did have to buy garlic for the first time since 2002 to eat this year from Feb onwards, but that was the first time in years and hopefully, if I am organized, I won’t have to buy any more for years to come.

When I cook, garlic is one of the main ingredients – a typical main course is prepared by frying onions and garlic, adding herbs and then adding vegetables.  I also love to roast garlic gloves to spread on bread.  I once dated some one who did not like garlic.  That relationship did not last very long!

Garlic is considered to have many health benefits.  It has been suggested that garlic consumption was one of the reasons (ref) for the French Paradox (if there is such a thing) as allicin in garlic is hypothesized to reduce serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels but this effect of garlic is still under discussion.