• Garlic

- Origin
Garlic originated in Middle Asia, but it had been cultivated in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and India. People there were clearly not afraid of its strong scent. In Ancient China garlic was used to repel evil spirits during the burials.
Garlic worked as a good disinfectant at the time and it saved many people from stomach diseases. For example, in 1720 garlic and vinegar saves thousands of people in Marseille from plague.
According to Homer, ancient heroes such as Odysseus and Achilles ate quite a lot of garlic. That is why in “Iliad” and “Odissey” Homer writes that the scent of blood was mixed with a strong scent of garlic. Ancient athletes also used garlic as a doping of sorts.

- Varieties
There are sweet and hot varieties of garlic. Hot varieties are more wide spread in the north, while the sweet one – in the south. Sweet southern varieties do not have that burning taste of a northern one. Instead they have quite a tender scent.

- Usage
In cooking garlic is used for salads, soups, main courses, marinades and pickles. It does not work particularly well with fish, but it is great for seafood (prawns, lobsters and crabs). Garlic has a wide usage in Asian cuisines as well as South European ones. In order to get a nice and pleasant garlic aroma, it is not recommended to heat it for a prolonged period of time. Finely minced garlic can be added 3-4min before the cooking is over.
Dried garlic can be used instead of the fresh one for fried and boiled meat and poultry, soups and mushroom and vegetable dishes. Meat can be rubbed with dried garlic before cooking, whereas it should be added to soups 3-5min before the cooking is over.

- Combinations and substitutes
Taste and scent of garlic combines particularly well with lamb. For poultry it is good to combine garlic with sour apples or plums.

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