Garlic already became a part of the diet among Sumerians more than 5,000 years ago in the Middle East. Since 1000 AD, garlic is grown in many parts of the known world. Many world cultures elevated the status of garlic beyond the usual dietary staple. It is believed to provide spiritual and medicinal benefits. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates used garlic to treat intestinal disorders, wounds and infections. Roman soldiers praised garlic for providing them with stamina and courage to fight the enemies. In the era of ancient Egypt, garlic served not only as food, but also offering and medicine. Traces of garlic were found in tomb of Tutankhamen inside the Saqqarah funeral complex. A healthy male slave could be traded with about 15 pounds of garlic based in Egyptian inscriptions.
Garlic or Allium sativum is one of the greatest gifts that the nature gives to us. It is known for strong natural antibiotic properties. Regular consumptions could lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure among people with hypertension. If you consume garlic, it’s selective in killing certain microorganisms, so it won’t suppress the natural intestinal bacteria in your body. Garlic is excellent to use against infections and cold. Garlic oil is good to treat ear infections and earaches, among children and infants. A treatment of garlic can be used to prevent fungal infections, including Athlete’s foot. Allicin is the active ingredient of garlic, but it can be destroyed by heat. It’s only released when garlic is bruised or crushed. So, crush your raw garlic if you want get full benefits from it.
When cooking, it is believed that you can produce stronger flavour by cutting garlic smaller. As an example, a finely minced clove of garlic will produce more scent and flavour than a dozen of garlic cloves that are cooked whole. Press the garlic first and chop finely to expose garlic to the air. The reaction with the air will produce a strong aroma. However, you may bake, fry or boil garlic cloves whole, if you want to produce sweet, slightly nutty flavour. When cells of garlic rupture, an enzyme called allinaise is released. It will change into allin and then allicin, which contains sulphur. Allicin is the substance that produces the pungent sensation when we consume garlic. If you love to eat garlic, you may munch some parsley to remove garlic breath.
There are different types of garlic that you can choose. Crow garlic is fairly common and widely distributed around the world, which is known for its small bulbs. Ranson garlic has very acrid smell and taste. You need to be careful when using to avoid producing overpowering aroma. The leaves and stalk (scape) of the garlic plant are edible as well, which can be used in soups and stews. To produce better flavour, chopped leaves and scape of the garlic should be added when the dish is fully cooked and still hot. They can get cooked quite quickly, so that’s the best way.