Garlic and Garlic based Products
Garlic (scientific name Allium sativum) is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Garlic grows underground in the form of a bulb. Its long green shoots produce flower stalks called scapes, which can be eaten. Covered in an inedible papery skin, the bulb, or head, is comprised of individual sections called cloves. These cloves are themselves enclosed in a paperlike skin, and the pale yellowish flesh within is the part of the garlic that is used in cooking.
Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground. In colder climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring or early summer. The cloves must be planted deep enough to prevent freeze/thaw, which causes mold or white rot.
Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. Garlic does well in loose, dry, well-drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4–9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large bulbs from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve bulb size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels.
Garlic is used in varied food preparations like chutneys, pickles, curry powders, curried vegetables, meat and meat product preparations, tomato ketchup, etc., The raw garlic is also used in second generation products like garlic powder, garlic salt, garlic vinegar, garlic cheese croutons, garlic potato chips, garlic bread etc. It has also been extensively used as a popular remedy for various ailments and psychological disorders since vedic period.