Photo by Irish Eyes Garden Seeds
It's day 3 of Garlic Week on Your Garden Show!
Garlic is good for you in many ways. It contains a compound, allicin, that’s antibiotic and anti-fungal. The effect of allicin is probably muted for most of us because it loses some potency in cooking. Also, you must crush or dice garlic to release the allicin, so dropping a whole clove in the soup contributes mostly flavor.
Raw, crushed garlic delivers the most allicin, but is barely palatable (except in small amounts as a flavoring). That’s my opinion. There are people who eat raw garlic by the clove. Loulou, my spouse and gardening partner, once read that eating raw garlic at the first sign of a cold will prevent the usual sore throat and runny nose. She tried it and discovered that 1) it didn’t work, and 2) raw garlic is really acrid. I joined her in sympathy, though I didn’t have a cold. For me, raw garlic was really acrid, barely bearable. You?
I wonder what happens with baked garlic, one of my favorite snacks. You oil a whole bulb, slice off its top, wrap it in foil and bake it until the cloves are mushy. Then you squeeze the cloves one by one and out comes a warm garlic paste that’s sweet and mild and perfect as a spread on bits of toast. I might be sacrificing health benefits, but I don’t care.
Some people are allergic to garlic, even cooked garlic. It upsets their stomach or worse. One fellow in my book club gets sick from a trace as small as one clove in a stew. By the way, raw, crushed garlic “burns” the skin of some people. Maybe Loulou and I were lucky.
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