Garlic (Allium Sativum) is a member of the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), which also includes leeks, onions, and shallots. It is a perennial with an underground bulb (head) composed of pungent bulblets commonly called cloves.
The pungent flavor of garlic is caused by a chemical reaction which occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense shortly after cutting or chopping. This chemical reaction cannot occur after garlic is cooked, which is why smoked garlic is sweet and nutty rather than pungent.
Fun Facts about Garlic
“Garlic — an ageless ingredient with no boundaries — It’s history in cooking and in medicinal remedies spans throughout the world from Egypt, Greece and Rome, to Europe and the Orient.”
Approximately 90 percent of the garlic grown in the United States is grown in California.
Egyptian slaves built the pyramids on a diet of garlic, bread and water.
GARLIC IN SPACE — When the French joined a Soviet space mission in late 1986, their menus caused an international stir. The French would not go into space without garlic and apparently the ventilation system couldn’t dispel the aromas quickly enough for Soviet spacemen–which led to some interesting diplomatic talks.
GARDEN TIP: The next time aphids are attacking your roses try spraying them with a mixture of crushed garlic and water…watch them drop.