Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species of bulbous flowering plant in the genus Allium. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been used as a seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.
The garlic plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the exception of the single clove types, garlic bulbs are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or for medicinal purposes. They have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.
Other parts of the garlic plant are also edible. The leaves and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are sometimes eaten. They are milder in flavor than the bulbs, and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. Immature garlic is sometimes pulled, rather like a scallion, and sold as “green garlic”. When green garlic is allowed to grow past the “scallion” stage, but not permitted to fully mature, it may produce a garlic “round”, a bulb like a boiling onion, but not separated into cloves like a mature bulb.
Green garlic imparts a garlic flavor and aroma in food, minus the spiciness. Green garlic is often chopped and stir-fried or cooked in soup or hot pot in Southeast Asian (i.e. Vietnamese, Thai, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodian, Singaporean), and Chinese cookery, and is very abundant and low-priced. Additionally, the immature flower stalks (scapes) of the hardneck and elephant types are sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir-fries.
Garlic may be applied to different kinds of bread, usually in a medium of butter or oil, to create a variety of classic dishes, such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini, and canapé. The flavor varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger.
Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as “garlic spears”, “stems”, or “tops”. Scapes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. They are often used in stir frying or braised like asparagus. Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in many parts of Asia. The leaves are cut, cleaned, and then stir-fried with eggs, meat, or vegetables.
Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic and can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, though the taste is not quite the same. Garlic salt combines garlic powder with table salt.
There are different varieties or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates and produces relatively large cloves. Jointly with the farmers, we chose this variety to cultivate in Hoa An and Ha Quang (Cao Bang). Garlic has shown to grow there with very good results. Not only was the cultivation successful but also the garlic proved to be of high quality with a subtle and intense taste.
In the DACE factory we produce fresh, dried and ground garlic.