Garlic: The Quintessential Culinary Gem

Chris Martin
5 min readSep 25, 2023
Photo of partially peeled garlic on a black background by Bryam Blanco on Unsplash

Ever wondered about that mesmerizing aroma wafting from kitchens that makes you instantly hungry? That’s often the work of garlic. Fun fact? The ancient Egyptians believed so much in the prowess of garlic that they included it in their Pharaohs' tombs!

From the Ancient Silk Route to Your Kitchen

Garlic is no newbie. Originating in Asia, this ingredient has journeyed through civilizations, from the ancient Egyptians to the Romans. Today, China, India, South Korea, Russia, and the U.S. are its top producers. Each region has its own way of celebrating this aromatic bulb.

Cleaning and Prepping Garlic: Do It Right

Photo of separated garlic cloves and a bulb next to a paring knife by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

When it comes to garlic, it's essential to prep it right. Here's how:
1. Separate: Gently separate the cloves from the bulb.
2. Peel: Lightly crush the clove using the flat side of a knife. This makes peeling easier.
3. Chop or Crush: Depending on your recipe, you can finely chop, slice, or crush it using a garlic press.

Three Delicious Ways to Devour Garlic

1. Roasted: Slow-roasted garlic turns mellow and almost sweet. A gourmet chef's secret to elevate any dish!
2. Stir-Fried: Quick and easy, stir-frying garlic releases its potent flavor, making it perfect for Asian dishes.
3. Raw: Yes, for the brave-hearted! It's intense, but it’s the best way to savor garlic’s natural aftertaste.

Perfect Pairings: Garlic's Best Friends

Garlic mingles well with:

Photo collage of ingredients garlic goes well with by engin akyurt on Unsplash

1. Olive oil
2. Tomatoes
3. Basil
4. Chili
5. Ginger
6. Chicken
7. Lamb
8. Seafood
9. Mushrooms
10. Spinach

Garlic Varieties: A World to Explore

1. Softneck: The most common type found in grocery stores. It's mild and perfect for everyday cooking.
2. Hardneck: Stronger in flavor, it’s ideal for roasting.
3. Elephant Garlic: Despite its name, it's milder and larger!
4. Black Garlic: Fermented to perfection, it's sweet and tangy.
5. Creole Garlic: A rare variety, it’s spicy and perfect for those who crave that extra kick.

Who Am I?

Hello, dear reader! I’m Commis Chef Chris. For 19 glorious years, I’ve been on a culinary journey, with the past 6 primarily as a personal chef in Minnesota.

The author Commis Chef Chris in uniform cleaning a grill with a Great Scrape during a weekend-long engagement at a lodge in Wisconsin.

From cooking for bustling families to NFL stars, and even that friendly Fire Chief around your corner, it’s been one flavorful ride.

Garlic Recipe: Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- ½ cup White wine (that you enjoy drinking)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- Salt to taste
- 400g spaghetti
- Fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:
1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic & onions until golden.
3. Add in your wine & stock and Scrape the bottom of the pan. Reduce until it begins to thicken
4. Pour in the heavy cream, let it simmer.
5. Stir in the Parmesan until melted and creamy.
6. Toss in the cooked spaghetti and mix until combined.
7. Serve hot with a garnish of fresh parsley.

Join Me on My Culinary Adventures

If the idea of mastering garlic has ignited a culinary spark in you, remember, you don't have to do it alone. Maybe you're considering private chef services for a gathering or seeking chef recommendations. Whatever your culinary aspirations, relish the journey and savor every bite.

Do check the hyperlinks for a deeper flavor exploration. Your culinary journey is just one click away!

And before you go, if you’ve enjoyed this, do leave a comment or share. You’re the heart of this culinary community.

Whether you’ve been here for 18 years or just joined, thank you for allowing me to share my passion.

**Wondering how to incorporate garlic into your next dish? Which dish would you love a garlic twist on? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

FAQs About Garlic:

Q1: How should I store garlic?
A1: In a cool, dry place. Avoid refrigeration, as it might sprout.

Q2: Can garlic improve health?
A2: It's believed to have health benefits, like boosting immunity and being good for the heart.

Q3: Why does garlic turn green when cooked?
A3: It's due to a reaction between amino acids and sulfur compounds in garlic.

Q4: How do I get rid of garlic breath?
A4: Try munching on parsley or drinking milk after a garlic-rich meal.

Q5: Can I plant store-bought garlic?
A5: Yes, but it’s better to get seed garlic for a better yield.

Q6: Is garlic good for plants?
A6: Garlic can be used as a natural insect repellent in gardens.

Q7: What’s the difference between garlic powder and fresh garlic?
A7: Garlic powder is dried and has a different, milder flavor than fresh.

Q8: Can garlic be toxic?
A8: Consuming in extremely large quantities might be harmful, moderation is key.

Q9: What is garlic scapes?
A9: They are the green shoots of the garlic plant, edible and flavorful.

Q10: How to mellow out garlic’s strong flavor?
A10: Roasting or cooking it can reduce its intensity.

--

--

Chris Martin

A Chef of 18 years using his knowledge and expertise to connect Chefs & foodies to create a great experience by making ordering a Chef as easy as a pizza.