National Garlic Day

Did you know that April 19th is National Garlic Day?  The flavorful bulb is an allium and member of the lily family, just like it’s cousins onions, chives, leeks and shallots.

Garlic is used in many cuisines and flavors many of our Quinoa Blends & Vegetable Side Dishes!  We asked our Executive Chef, Damien Eftekhar, to share his tips and advice for cooking with garlic.

How do you pick out the freshest garlic to use in your recipes?

Fresh garlic is usually harder to peel and has a thinner, less brittle peel.  So if your garlic is tough to peel, chances are you’ve got some nice fresh garlic!

What some ways to prepare fresh garlic?

Pressed garlic is a great way to get to use fresh garlic.  It’s also an easy alternative to chopping.

Is there anything you don’t want to do with garlic?

Burn it!  When cooking with garlic, if a recipe calls to brown the garlic, be careful!  Garlic that is even slightly overbrowned will turn very bitter.

What are the flavor differences between raw and cooked garlic?

Beware of raw garlic!  When preparing foods with raw garlic, note that it will be very strong!  When garlic is cooked, its natural sweetness comes out and gives a much more subtle flavor.

We love roasted garlic!  Any tips for making it at home?

Roasted garlic is a beautiful thing!  To roast garlic, trim about ¾ inch off the top of whole garlic heads and place onto a sheet of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Close the foil around the garlic heads and bake on a baking sheet at 400F for about 30 minutes.  The garlic should be nicely browned and very soft.  Let stand until cool enough to handle, then squeeze out the roasted cloves.  Blend this with mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped fresh parsley for a quick roasted garlic sauce or simply spread on toast points for a delicious appetizer!

Fun Facts for National Garlic Day!

  • There are 300 varieties of garlic worldwide!
  • The smell of garlic can be removed from your hands by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
  • Chicago is named after the American Indian word ‘chicagoua’ for the wild garlic that grew around Lake Michigan.