Garlic, the Savory Staple
The World of Garlic
Garlic (Allium sativum) is closely related to onions, scallions, chives, shallots and leeks, all of which have much in common in terms of their flavor and are sometimes referred to as a group. or by their genus, Alliums. Garlic has been used for thousands of years and is a common seasoning throughout the world. The plant, native to Central Asia, is widely grown in many countries, but China produces 80% of the world supply. All parts of the garlic plant are edible — the leaves and flowers are sometimes eaten but the part of the plant that is most commonly used for culinary purposes is the bulb.
The bulb is made up of a number of sections called cloves. These cloves (each of which is covered with a papery skin that is removed) are chopped when a fresh garlic bulb is used and are the basis of the different forms of dried garlic. Garlic is a basic ingredient in many dishes in regions around the world — in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America — and it’s a very popular seasoning almost across the board in different types of American cooking. Garlic was featured prominently in European folklore and folk medicine in previous centuries.
Recently, numerous clinical studies have been undertaken to determine any possible effects consuming garlic might have on the risks relating to a wide range of diseases. In any case, garlic is a wholesome, flavorful ingredient that enhances a wide range of savory entrees, appetizers, dips, rubs and sauces.
A Savory Staple
The distinctive flavor of garlic can be used to add depth and richness to almost all non-sweet food. Cooks differ in using it liberally to permeate dishes or sparingly to accent other seasonings, but almost anyone who cooks is familiar with it. Garlic is commonly used in salad dressings, vinaigrettes, marinades, sauces, vegetables, meats, soups, and stews. And, of course, there’s garlic bread and in all its variations — garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini, canapé — which simply apply garlic to different kinds of bread, usually in a medium of butter or oil. The garlic butter at the heart of most garlic bread can be applied to any savory dish you might top with butter for extra flavor. A touch of garlic butter can really perk up a serving of vegetables.
Flavorful in Any Form
The pungent flavor of dried garlic is captured in a variety of forms available from Frontier Co-op — powder, granules and minced.
- Garlic Powder is the finest grind of dehydrated garlic and has a consistency like flour; 1/8 teaspoon = 1 whole garlic clove
- Garlic Granules are slightly coarse, much like cornmeal; 1/8 teaspoon = 1 whole garlic clove (Garlic powder and garlic granules can be used interchangeably.)
- Minced Garlic is considerably coarser texture than powder or granules — it isn’t ground, but chopped finely into “flakes”; 1/2 teaspoon = 1 whole garlic clove
- Roasted Garlic Granules are also available in bulk. Roasting adds a robust dimension to the garlic flavor.
- Garlic blends — Garlic ‘N Herb, Garlic Salt and Garlic Pepper — all highlight the hearty flavor of garlic.
Compound butter, butter flavored with herbs and other ingredients, is used to flavor and add a pop of color to dishes. This simple version is flavored with Frontier's robust Garlic & Herb Seasoning. It’s a wonderful addition atop fish, steak or chicken.
The salty-sweet taste of soy and brown sugar come together in this teriyaki salmon recipe. Seasoned with red pepper flakes and garlic, these grilled tender salmon steaks are sweet perfection. Enjoy on its own or serve with mango salsa or on top of a bed of greens.
Well-seasoned roasted vegetables are the best of fall cooking. Root veggies like carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, parsnips and onions work wonderfully for this recipe as each brings a unique flavor and texture and holds onto seasonings well. This medley of vegetables features garlic, rosemary and black pepper for a refreshing and herby flavor.