For those of us that started cooking within the last 30 years or so, garlic is likely to have always been part of our useful ingredients.

I still remember the first time I made my own garlic bread – well I didn`t make the bread but you know what I mean. A mix of crushed garlic cloves, butter and lemon rind. A wonderful smell as it cooked in the oven with a lovely taste to match.

My list of dishes may have increased since then but garlic bread is still a favourite with young and old alike.

I am a great lover of garlic, there`s not many dishes that I don`t sneak a garlic clove or two into, including mashed potatoes. Just pop a clove in while the potatoes are cooking then by the time you come to mash them, the clove will be soft and will give a subtle flavour of garlic to the potatoes.

I still remember my disbelief though when seeing a recipe for chicken and 30 cloves of garlic. Yes that`s thirty cloves. It does work because garlic is more ‘potent’ when it is chopped or crushed. So by cooking the 30 cloves whole the dish is not over powered by the garlic.

My most recent passion is for smoked garlic. I love the taste but the smell is as important. A well smoked bulb leaves a lovely smell in the kitchen. At the moment I have a basket in one of my cupboards which although empty lends a wonderful aroma to the room every time I open the door.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Isle of Wight, a trip to the Garlic Farm is strongly recommended. It offers a chance to find out more about garlic, buy it (very) fresh, taste some of the mayonnaises and mustards made at the Farm and enjoy the Café there. A great morning out.

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 7:34 am  Leave a Comment  

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