Garlic, the mystical aromatic herb that stinks so deliciously. A
member of the Lily family, garlic is the most pungent of all herbs.
Garlic is used extensively in Cajun & Creole cooking as you
well know. The most famous Garlic
Festival is held in Gilroy California and has been celebrated
California is one of the top producers of garlic in the states.
Mexico imports garlic to the states as does South America and China.
Pungency level depends on the variety and climatic source. From
what I've found the most pungent garlic variety is the Leningrad at
112 and the least pungent is the American May at 35 on the pungency
In Louisiana we typically grow Italian, Elephant and Creole
varieties. The Elephant garlic is not a true garlic.
Garlic Eating Contest? Why not! At the 2002
contest in Drums, PA, Helen Evens ate 25 cloves to win.
Cooking with garlic is often thought of as being as simple as
throwing it in the pot, not so! The two basic uses are browned or
roasted, and raw; each having it's own type of garlic flavor. With
that in mind be sure when you're starting a dish with the
trinity throw the garlic in after the trinity is almost done.
You only want to lightly brown garlic since burning it to any degree
chemically alters it to be very bitter.
What's the best form of garlic to purchase? Fresh
is always best.
What do I look for? Firm cloves, nice color.
How much? Buy only what you'll use in a few
How do I store it? In the cool, dark, dry
location. (not the refrigerator or freezer)
Can I peel it and refrigerate it? Yes, totally
in olive oil but it won't be as good as fresh.
Cut the tip off, cut through the butt and pull away a section of the
peel, gently crush with flat side of kitchen knife, peel and chop.
Also... put in microwave for about 15 seconds, let cool and peel.
a gadget I found on the web. It's a rubber tube into which you put
garlic cloves, roll it around and the garlic comes out peeled. hmmmm,
I'll have to check this out.
garlic is simple and can be done in any garden or rectangular
container with a med-light soil (not too dense). It is a bit of
a strange herb since it grows for 9 months; planted in August and
harvested in May. California, Texas and Louisiana are the major
This plant makes a great school project since it's planted when
school begins and is harvested at the end of the school year. Garlic
is a slow growing plant, and, is maintenance free!