Information About Garlic
Garlic is in the genus Allium, and the onion family Alliaceae. It is grown worldwide which makes it difficult to determine its origin. China is by far the largest producer of garlic, growing over three-fourths of the worlds’ garlic crop. The United States can grow garlic in every state except Alaska.
There are two subspecies of garlic. The first is the hard neck garlic. It can be grown in the United States. In colder climates these garlic plants are annuals. In warmer climates they can grow as perennials. The second type of garlic has a soft neck, and grows in hotter climates nearer to the equator.
The cloves inside the papery skins are the most common part of a garlic plant that is eaten. Raw garlic cloves have a pungent flavor. They are often crushed and used for seasoning foods. The garlic cloves can be rosted and used as a sweet, vegetable side dish. The garlic in the roasted cloves can also be squeezed out and used as a spread for breads. The young green sprouts are often stir fried and served with main dishes.
Garlic can be planted in rows. The garlic cloves should be planted about two inches deep, and with the pointed side up. If it hard to determine which side is up, place the clove in the hole sideways. Spacing should be about eight inches apart.
Garlic can be stored in several ways. The two ways mentioned here are the easiest. Store garlic in a dark, dry and cool place for up to five months in a vented container. Mesh bags or panty hose are good options. Garlic bulbs still wrapped in it papery skins can be frozen for longer storage. Cloves can be broken from the bulbs as needed.
Raw garlic is believed to have many health benefits. Some of the benefits include helping to reduce heart and vascular disease, fight the common cold, and to help regulate blood sugar levels. Garlic cloves are also used as natural remedies for intestinal worms and other intestinal parasites. Many believe that mosquitoes are repelled when someone who has eaten garlic.