What’s the Stink about Garlic?



Did you know there are over 300 types of garlic? I walked up to the farmers market the other week and the garlic vendor had six different types available for purchase. Some are a little spicier than others so they are a great addition to salsas. Some are easier to peel. Chewing on parsley, fennel seed and mint helps eliminate the smell of garlic breath. Fresh garlic will feel firm with no trace of dampness. Do not refrigerate garlic or else it will produce a bitter taste.

A lot of recipes tell you to let the garlic sit out before cooking it. The health-promoting allicin forms when you wait 5-10 minutes after cutting the garlic. The allicin is never formed if you do not let it sit before cooking. Allicin helps to preserve many of the garlic’s cancer-protective properties. It takes time for alliinase to catalyze the conversion of alliin and allowing the garlic to sit before heating creates the optimal transformation.

Do you have some trouble getting the garlic out of its skin? Place on a cutting board and gently, but firmly press into the clove with the palm of your hand to separate the garlic from its clove. It was always difficult for me to peel the skin off the individual cloves until I learned to place the side of a chef’s knife on the clove and give it a quick whack with my palm.

How do you enjoy your garlic?

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