Other than vampires and a few nonblood-sucking individuals, who doesn’t like garlic? Sure, it might do a number on your breath. But what are Tic Tacs for, anyway. Ultimately, garlic is a wonderful and diverse herb that keeps finding its way into thousands upon thousands of dishes. It can be used fresh, roasted, sauteed or boiled. Heck, truckloads of garlic powder is sprinkled on countless slices of pizza every day. Besides flavor, people have gravitated to the healing and health benefits of garlic for centuries. These bulbs and cloves can supposedly boost energy, fight infection, build immune systems, lower blood pressure, thwart cardiovascular challenges and maybe even keep cancer at bay. And yes, garlic will also keep vampires at a safe distance. Amazingly, garlic doesn’t come in a one-size fits all package. There are, in fact, hundreds of varieties of garlic that are broken into hardbacks and softbacks. Don’t worry, WellWell has identified the flavor and medicinal benefits of eight different varieties to get you started.
Sometimes called Kashmiri garlic, Snow Mountains come from, where else, the Himalayan Mountains. Their native location makes them naturally organic and one of the few plants of any kind that can survive and thrive in a snowy region. Prized by mountaineers, these garlics were consumed to build up energy levels, keep peripheral circulation flowing, enhance oxygen capacity and detoxify individuals in the region’s extremely cold climes. But even for those not hiking up the Himalayas, these garlics can deliver a general health boost by supporting immune systems, regulating blood pressure and fighting off rheumatism, tuberculosis, cholesterol, cardiovascular/respiratory problems and cancer.
Reputed to have multiple health benefits, Rocambole garlic is found in Northeast India. Well regarded for cooking, it also contains allicin, a sulfur-based compound with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. If that’s not enough, Rocamboles may help with digestive disorders.
Purple Stripes are a type of hardback garlic. They are flavorful, mild, store well but are not overly pungent. They are reputed to make some of the sweetest roasted garlic.
It’s easy to think artichokes when looking at Silverskin garlics because they are layered. Thankfully, they also adapt to a range of growing conditions. With 14-24 reddish cloves per bulb, Silverskins mature late with a flavor that has been described as an up front bite and lingering pungency. Because of their tight skins, they store longer than most other garlics and, for those so inclined, make excellent garlic braids.
This may be where anyone interested in growing their own garlics should start. Artichoke garlics are simply the easiet of all garlics to grow, spouting in almost any climate. They also host a range of flavors form spicy to mild and colors from red to purple.
Chesnok Red is a full-flavored garlic that hails from the Republic of Georgia in Eastern Europe. Thick and easy to peal, their tastes and flavors often shifts with each year with some annual production being hotter than others. Always, however, the Chesnok Reds deliver a strong garlicy flavor.
This particular herb is something akin to a medicine bottle in the shape of a garlic bulb. It has one of the highest concentrations of allicin when compared to other garlics, which makes it’s a powerful antimicrobial that may deliver other health benefits as well. The level of potency, however, is dependent on growing conditions and the amount of organosulfur compounds in the soil. It’s mild flavor also makes it appropriate for lots of recipes, which helps the Siberian Hardneck deliver flavor and health benefits simultaneously.
Grab Creoles if you can find and afford them because they are rare and expensive. In addition to their reputed medicinal benefits, they are prized for their fresh taste and sweetness that builds in heat.
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