Almost everything I cook seems to include garlic, and preferably fresh pressed garlic. This year I was able to explore a larger variety of garlic than I ever had before by purchasing different kinds of garlic at the farmer’s market here in Salt Lake City, UT. I intend on growing garlic next year in our small garden, as I really enjoyed the fresh garlic I bought this year.

I felt silly asking questions at the farmer’s market as I really didn’t know much about garlic varieties, how to grow garlic, or really anything about garlic at all. I started my search for information at Wikipedia. I learned that garlic is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, and chive.

Upon visiting Simple Daily Recipes blog about garlic paste I noted a comment about improperly stored garlic producing botulism. I am glad I found this out as I have frequently considered creating my own homemade garlic oil. I learned that if you do make it at home, you must consume it within one week to avoid the risk. Commercially prepared oils tend to be created to prevent this, but it is a good thing to know about cooking garlic.

There are a wide variety of health benefits attributed to garlic, the main theme in these benefits is that it seems to help support a healthy immune system. There is also some evidence that it can help manage high cholesterol.

It appears that I need to save some of my garlic cloves from the farmers market and plant them about 6 weeks before the ground freezes this year (I live in a cold climate). Planted garlic cloves will produce garlic bunches, this is good to know because I did not have any luck growing onions this year using seeds or small sprouts (we had a very unusual spring with snow into June). I will see if planting cloves gives me better luck next year!

Hoping to do some more research about types of garlic..