Hi there! Nice to meet you. Garlic, you either love us or you don't. Some people worry about "garlic breath," but the benefits of eating garlic are worth it. We’re packed with nutrients, boost your immune system, and fight off harmful bacteria. Give us a try and enjoy the taste and health benefits of garlic!
Not only do we make food delicious, but we're also super healthy! It's believed that we have the power to keep you strong and fit. The ancient Egyptians were onto something. They fed us to their slaves every morning to give them the strength to build the incredible pyramids! Maybe you should have some of us before your next footy or netball game. We'll give you a boost!
Guess what? We're like cousins to onions! Just like onions, we're a bulb-shaped vegetable, about 4-6cm wide. Our bottom part is nice and plump, but it gets thinner as it goes up.
Here's the interesting part: inside our bulb, there's a cluster of 6-12 small cloves. Each clove is covered in a thin, papery case. And to keep us protected, we have another layer of papery case that wraps around the whole garlic bulb. Cool, right?
We come in different colours too. You might find us in white, greyish, or purplish shades. So, keep an eye out for our unique appearance when you see us in the kitchen!
We're available all year round but most Australian garlic is available September to May.
Although there are currently 5 main varieties grown in Australia, most garlic at your local greengrocers or supermarket is usually sold as single garlic bulbs– not by variety. In some greengrocers, you can buy peeled garlic cloves that are ready for cooking.
As I told you, we look like an onion plant. A long stem with thin, grey-green, flat leaves rises from our bulb and we can grow to 1 metre or more in height in the right environment. We prefer colder conditions and need a moist, well-drained soil when first planted.
As the days get warmer, we grow and mature so that 6-9 months after being planted our leaves start to droop and dry out. We're then pulled from the ground (usually by machine) and our tops cut off, leaving the bulb which is cleaned and packed for transport to the markets.
Choose plump, firm garlic with dry papery skin and bulbs.
Store us in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Good garlic keeps for up to 2 months in the right place.
Garlic is grown around Australia, with significant volumes produced in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
We're an incredibly old plant that has been used for food and medicine for thousands of years. Our history is truly fascinating! The ancient Egyptians already knew about us way back in 3750 BC, and people in China were enjoying our goodness from around 2000 BC.
It's believed that we originally came from the mountains of Central Asia. From there, we travelled with adventurers and traders to places like China, India, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. The Greeks and Romans were big fans of ours for over 2500 years, and it's likely that the Romans introduced us to the British Isles.
Since the arrival of European and later Asian immigrants, we have become an important ingredient in Australian cuisine. We've added our special touch to many delicious dishes enjoyed Down Under.
So, you can see just how long we've been around and how widely we've travelled. We've left our mark on cultures all over the world, and now we're a beloved part of Australian cooking too!
Break the garlic bulb into cloves. Then peel the garlic cloves that you need. Then remove their papery skin. Leave whole, chop or finely chop and we’re ready to use. The whole bulb can be roasted until tender.
We can be eaten raw and cooked. When raw, we are much stronger in flavour.
It’s best not to cook us at a very high temperature as we might burn.
Garlic is a must-have in pasta sauces, casseroles, soups, sauces, salad dressings, fritters, and dips in fact, so many dishes!
Try some of these great garlic recipes from Sydney Markets that use garlic;