California Granulated Garlic
Granulated Garlic, Allium sativum, is also called California granulated garlic, best granulated garlic, or garlic granule.
Granulated Garlic has an essential oil of .1% - .25%.
What Is Granulated Garlic
This Granulated Garlic is made from dehydrated California grown garlic and is used in cooking as a flavor enhancement. Garlic is a species in the genus Allium, and is closely related to chives, leeks, or onions, and shallots. The process of making Granulated Garlic includes dehydrating the vegetable, then milling it through machinery to the desired consistency.
This is one of the few spices that people tend to think is more flavorful when it has been dried since it concentrates the flavor significantly. Unlike fresh garlic that tends to have a very upfront flavor, Granulated Garlic adds more subtle flavor complexity and umami to anything it is added to. As any good home chef knows, nothing compares to fresh garlic, but that doesn't mean that dehydrated garlic shouldn't play a vital role in your kitchen. Over the last thirty years, garlic consumption in the U.S. is up over 1,000% - to more than 3.5 lbs. being consumed by each person annually and according to UC Davis more than 75% of all garlic consumed in this country is in the dehydrated form.
History of Garlic
Botanists believe that Garlic is most likely native to Central Asia. This region stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. Historically Central Asia has been closely linked to the fabled Silk Road trade route.
Sumerians (2600–2100 BC), who are the earliest known civilization, were located in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (this area later became Babylonia and is now southern Iraq). The Sumerians used garlic for its healing qualities, and it is believed they introduced garlic to China, and from there it eventually spread into Japan and Korea.
The ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first people to use garlic as a food flavoring and not just for its purported medicinal benefits. Susan Boro Moyers author of the book Garlic in Health, History, and World Cuisine wrote that “records suggest that the poor and slave populations in ancient Egypt had a very simple diet, consisting mostly of flatbread, beer, garlic, and onion”. Egyptians believed that garlic increased strength and endurance and was used as a source of energy by the salves who built the pyramids (roughly 2550 to 2490 BC). Thousands of years after the pharaohs were entombed in these pyramids, archeologists discovered perfectly preserved cloves of garlic inside clay pots, with several of those pots shaped like garlic cloves.
The crusaders (1096 and 1291 AD) introduced garlic to medieval Europe where it became used by the lower rungs of society who couldn't afford expensive imported spices like black pepper from the Far East. These impoverished classes tended to use herbs they could grow and garlic’s intense flavor helped them add flavor to their otherwise bland diets.
Garlic was introduced to early America by the explorers and sailors from France and Portugal. Until the 1940s, garlic was considered an insignificant flavoring in America and was only present in distinctly "immigrant" food. After the 1940s however, garlic gained a lot of traction in the mainstream American diet.
Gilroy, California has an interesting relationship with garlic. Here, the locals have an intense pride for their local garlic crops. It's nearly the level of intensity that you will find for wine in Italy, pork in Spain or chile peppers in New Mexico. Gilroy is the self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world.
Garlic can be grown successfully in any well-drained soil. Light soils are best for garlic production; soils which are too heavy can cause bulb deformation. Ideal soil ranges from sandy loam to clay loam. Garlic is planted in the fall and should be grown on raised beds covered in mulch with drip irrigation. The application of 1 inch of water per week during dry periods through mid-June will ensure good sizing. Garlic should not be irrigated after this period to encourage clove maturation and to minimize bulb diseases.
Garlic is a bulbous perennial plant that is most likely native to Central Asia. Grown through the planting of cloves, referred to as garlic seed, garlic is typically planted from mid-September through November in garlic beds in double rows at a density of 18 plants/foot. Garlic is irrigated with overhead sprinklers until the roots are established, then surfaced irrigated (farmers flow water down small trenches running through their crops.
A few weeks before garlic is scheduled to be harvested irrigation of the fields is halted to allow the garlic plants to begin to dry out. Garlic that is destined to be dehydrated is allowed to dry for approximately one month at which point the tops of the plants are mechanically removed. Just before harvesting, the beds are lightly watered which makes removal with mechanical diggers less likely to damage the garlic cloves. Once harvested the garlic cloves are transported to the processing facility where they are placed in a warm air tunnel for additional drying. Once this is complete the bulbs are placed in storage before they are processed (ie chopped, ground, minced, roasted, etc).
The world's leading producers of garlic are China (75% of the world's total), India, Korea and the United States.
Where Is Our Granulated Garlic From
Types of Garlic
There are over 400 varieties of garlic but there are only two main types of garlic: hardneck and softneck. Hardneck garlic is the most closely related to natural garlic, while softneck garlic has been carefully crossbred over the years to maximize yields for commercial production. Hardneck garlic produces a flowering stock called a scape and has a firm center that grows through the bulb. Softneck garlic does not have a scape. Harneck garlic is often smaller, with only 4-12 cloves per bulb while Softneck garlic produces 8-20 cloves per bulb. Hardneck garlic is more common in colder climates while softneck garlic thrives in milder climates.
Recent research from UC Santa Cruz has identified 10 primary sub-groups of garlic - 5 hardnecks, 2 softnecks and 3 weak bolting hardnecks that often produce softnecks. The 5 hardnecks are - Porcelain, Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe and Rocambole. The 2 softnecks are Artichoke and Silverskin. The 3 varieties of weak bolting hardnecks are Asiatic, Creole and Turban.
Our California grown garlic is of the softneck variety.
What Does Granulated Garlic Taste Like
Tastes strong, pungent, and very garlicky.
Granulated Garlic vs Garlic Powder
Both Granulated Garlic and Garlic Powder are made from dehydrated garlic. The only difference between the two is the granule size. Granulated Garlic has a coarser consistency, like cornmeal or sand. Garlic powder is finely ground to a flour consistency. The flavor of Garlic Powder is the more potent of the two as more of the surface area of the garlic is exposed to oxygen, releasing more of its organosulfur compounds. Because of this additional potency you only need 1/8 teaspoon of Garlic Powder to equal 1 clove of garlic but need 1/4 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic to achieve the same level of flavor.
Granulated Garlic is less likely to clump, making it better to use with liquids like salad dressings, sauces, soups, and stews. We also prefer using it in spice blends as Garlic Powder tends to mix unevenly and is more likely to cause clumping.
With Garlic Powder's increased potency (teaspoon to teaspoon) this should be the choice when you need your dried garlic to dissipate and meld into your recipe quickly without adding texture, like in a marinade or pasta sauce.
How to Use Granulated Garlic
Granulated Garlic is usually the preferred choice of the various types of dried of garlic when substituting for fresh. Granulated Garlic is especially good with just about anything savory. It's wonderful on breads (think garlic bread), cheese-based dishes, chili, popcorn, root vegetables, soups, spice blends, and stews.
Granulated Garlic pairs well with basil, beans, chile peppers, ginger, greens, onions, spinach, and turmeric.
What Is a Substitute for Granulated Garlic
1 fresh garlic clove = ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic or 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic.
|Ingredients||California grown garlic|
|Also Called||California granulated garlic, best granulated garlic, or garlic granules|
|Recommended Uses||Breads (think garlic bread), cheese-based dishes, chili, popcorn, root vegetables, soups, spice blends, and stews|
|Flavor Profile||A very distinct flavor which can only be described as garlicky|
|Oil Content||.1% - .25%|
|Botanical Name||Allium sativum|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||6-12 months|
|Country of Origin||US|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*