Magic of Garlic
at Glutenfreeda.com thought it fitting to discuss garlic during
this ghoolish Halloween season. Garlic has been rumored to have
magical properties, specifically as a defense against the vampire.
Traditional uses include hanging wreaths of garlic around the
neck or at the doorway of the home to ward off potential vampire
attacks. It is also been known as a way to detect vampires. In
Slavic countries, a persons aversion to eating garlic meant
that they could be a vampire!
its supposed magical properties, garlic is used today, not
only for flavoring, cooking and pickling, but also as a medicinal
aid. It is believed to strengthen the bodys natural defenses
against disease, as well as act as a digestive stimulant, a diuretic,
and as a antispasmodic.
may find extra-large cloves of garlic, also known as elephant
garlic, at your store. These cloves are much milder in taste and
are best used for roasting. Smaller, more traditional heads of
garlic are much stronger in taste and used most often in cooking,
flavoring and pickling.
can replace the delicious aroma and taste that garlic contributes
to numerous dishes of different ethnic origins. Often it truly
rounds out the flavor of the dish. Garlic can be purchased already
chopped in jars, however, we strongly urge you to cut your garlic
as close to the cooking time as possible. Not only will you enjoy
better flavor from freshly cut garlic, but also you will eliminate
possible bacterial contaminates that can infect garlic left standing
at room temperature.
loosen the skin, crush the garlic clove between the knife blades
flat side and the cutting board, using the heel of your hand.
Peel off the skin and remove the root end and any brown spots.
Mince the clove fairly fine, or coarsely chop. (If you would like
to remove any bitterness, add some kosher salt to minced garlic
this will absorb excess juice and oil.) If you want to
make a garlic paste, hold the knife at an angle and use the cutting
edge to mash the garlic or shallot against the cutting board.
Repeat this step until the garlic is mashed into a paste. Many
recipes request different forms of garlic other than mashed or
minced. Sometimes, simply bruising the garlic will add the perfect
amount of flavor to a dish.
whether you are trying to ward off the vampires in your neighborhood,
or just trying to enhance the flavor of your favorite dish, you
can never go wrong with a magical clove of garlic!