The distinctive taste and smell of garlic is known and celebrated the world over, a standard addition to nearly every cuisine across the globe. Long nicknamed “the stinking rose”, garlic is not a rose, but a lily, along with other alliums like leeks, shallots, onions, and chives. Garlic’s sharp flavor and lingering odor almost dare you to eat it; they are the products of a surprisingly low volatile oil content, which averages between 0.1%-0.25% by weight. That oil, however, is fueled by a series of potent sulfuric compounds that activate once a garlic clove is sliced or crushed, exposing its heart to air.
Archaeologists believe garlic originated in central Asia; some pinpoint its origins to the steppes of the Tien Shan mountains, which form the border between Kyrgyzstan and China, while others think it originated near Turkey, or in the region around Afghanistan. What is certain is that it was in trade in Mesopotamia by 4000 BCE, and was in Egypt by 3000 BCE. Ancient Egyptians were likely among the first to use garlic in the daily diet; they believed it was a strength enhancer, and gave it to the heavy laborers who built the great pyramids (2589-2504 BC). Garlic followed the paths of nomads and merchants, making its way around the world as trade expanded. While garlic came to the US with immigrants and has been in the US since the 1700s, it mainly stayed out of the center of the country and kept to the coastal areas until the latter half of the 20th century. 1988 seems to be a pivotal year for garlic in the US, with cuisines like garlic-friendly Italian gaining mass acceptance, coupled with an influx of new garlic cultivars from the rapidly collapsing Soviet Union being transplanted into California’s agricultural industry and media like commercials and documentaries promoting garlic in flavor and health. Garlic consumption in the US has quadrupled since 1988 and has been one of the most consistently strong agricultural performers for the last thirty years.
All of our garlic is grown in California. We always look to provide our customers with the most flavorful products possible, and California garlic just tastes great. Testing has shown that it’s structurally more dense than garlic harvested elsewhere, and that density translates to deeper flavor.
1 fresh garlic clove = 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder or ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic.