The garlic bulb, divided into fleshy bulblets called cloves, is the most commonly used part. A bulb may contain 8-40 cloves depending on the variety. Single clove type of bulbs also exist but, these are not common.Garlic is primarily used to season food so we consume it in limited amounts that do not contribute significantly to tour nutritional requirements.
Garlic’s characteristic odour and flavour stems from sulphur compounds. It enhances many different dishes. The flavour of garlic in food depends on the cooking method and recipe. It is often paired with onion, tomato and ginger, during cooking. It’s used in stews, soups, vegetables, meats, seafood, beans and rice.
Garlic can be roasted whole and used as a spread or for mashed potatoes and other foods. It can also be used in ice creams and sweets
Oils can be flavoured with garlic and used for seasoning vegetables, meats, bread and pasta The oil should be stored in the fridge and used within one week or stored in freezer. Chilli oil with garlic is used as a dipping sauce for meat and seafood. e.g Vietnam chilli garlic sauce
Young garlic bulbs can be pickled in a mixture of sugar, salt and spices and used as a condiment.
Apart from bulbs, the young floral stalks called scape are also edible, especially in Spain, China and Indonesia. They can be used whole as asparagus or cut into pieces and used in stir-fries, salads or for cooking different dishes.
Crushed raw garlic is strongly antibiotic, and has a reputation for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and inhibiting thrombus formation.