Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.
Herb of the Year 2004: Good Old Garlic
by Sandra Bowens
Other articles you might enjoy:
1. Garlic Questions and Answers Page
2. All About Garlic
3. Sofrito Fiesta
4. The Great Garlic Roasting Experiment
5. All About Shallots
It is easy to understand how garlic could qualify as Herb of the Year. The distinctive taste adds flavor to the foods we love and combines well with other herbs and seasonings. Garlic is available in many forms, fresh and dried, we need never be without it. Current health and nutrition information is even pointing out that garlic is good for us.
Consider the following a round-up of great garlic information links.
Garlic in General
Two sites tie as favorites for great garlic information. The Garlic Store and Garlic Central will entertain garlic lovers for hours on end.
In Celebration of Garlic
Garlic festivals are held every year but the 2004 parties should kick into extra high spirits to honor the herb of the year. In addition to those listed below, you will probably find plenty of area events. Be sure to check your local listings.
Perhaps the most well known of them all, the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California is scheduled for July 23, 24 and 25 this year (2004).
Join the fun in Newchurch on The Isle of Wight in Britain for the Garlic Festival every in August. Two festivals heat up the Canadian summer. The Perth Garlic Festival on August 14 and 15 (2004) at the Fairgrounds in Perth, Ontario. The July 2 (2004) Vessalico Garlic Fair in Italy is an annual re-creation of the original event held in 1760.
Celebrate garlic on a Florida beach at the sixth annual Delray Beach Garlic Fest on November 12, 13 and 14, 2004. Voted the number one food festival in the US of 2002, the Saugerties Garlic Festival in New York's Hudson Valley is held the last full weekend in September every year. Also in Canada, the 5th Annual South Kariboo Garlic Festival will be held on August 21 and 22 (2004) in Forest Grove, BC.
A beautiful and unusual variety is celebrated at the
Pink Garlic Fair in August in Lautrec, France.
Garlic in the Garden
If you are going to grow garlic, why not try a variety that you can't find at the supermarket. Click here to click through to the wide assortment of stock available for your garden.
For growing garlic the organic way, don't miss the extensive informational pages you will find at Gourmet Garlic Gardens.
Garlic can help keep your garden healthy too. Garlic Barrier is a natural insect repellent with the motto: "Keeps your plants from being eating alive."
Garlic in the Kitchen
Garlic is one of the few seasonings that nearly every culture knows and uses on a regular basis. Be it raw, cooked or pickled, certain dishes would not be the same without the addition of garlic.
Anyone who has been to Korea knows that the national dish is Kim Chi. Crocks of this pickled cabbage relish are lined up to ferment on apartment patios throughout the city. Spicy hot, Kim Chi is served as a condiment to most meals. Click here for spunky-sounding recipe from Chef2Chef.
Scampi is really a type of shrimp but garlic lovers know it as the classic way to add a little seafood to their garlic. The folks at TexShrimp offer this easy recipe.
Another classic recipe is the Provencal preparation of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. America's Test Kitchen has developed a recipe to meet their requirements of a "well-browned, crisp-skinned chicken paired with sweet, nutty garlic and a savory sauce." Click here to visit the show's website.
Thick slices of French bread slathered with a garlicky butter then baked in foil will bring back fond memories of home-cooking. Food TV's Sara Moulton offers a recipe to remind us how to do it to perfection. Look for it here.
The garlic mayonnaise known as aioli is popular in many different cuisines because it will enhance so many dishes. This recipe is a basic one along with adjustments for the number of servings you wish to make.
Voted "The Worst Sounding Ice Cream" in an AOL poll, garlic ice cream is still intriguing to the devoted garlic fan. If you can't resist, Garlic World has the recipe.
Garlic in the Library
If you really want to delve into the subject, you might consider adding these books to your library. Chester Aaron has spent most of his life surrounded by the stinking rose. His books reflect his knowledge. Growing Great Garlic is the recommended textbook for those who want to see garlic in their own back yard, especially organic growers. All four books provide garlic lore, history and antidotes relating to the Herb of the Year 2004.
Who Elected Garlic?
The International Herb Association (IHA) and the Herb Society of America have been granting Herb of the Year status to assorted plants since 1995.
From the IHA website: "The International Herb Association (IHA) is a professional trade association providing educational, service and development opportunities for those involved in herbal endeavors. Since its inception in 1985, the IHA has encouraged herbal entrepreneurs. Through its newsletters, publications and conferences the association offers guidance as an association of peers supporting herbal businesses. The IHA strives to provide the latest information on growing, marketing and using herbs and involves its membership in the decision-making process."
From the Herb Society's website: "The Herb Society of America is dedicated to promoting the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experience of its members with the community."