Keep Vampires at Bay
with Suzanne Klein
Chief Yummy Officer
For nearly 6,000 years, garlic has kept away the plague, been used as an embalming agent in ancient tombs, served as an offering to gods, cured scorpion bites, warded off witches, prevented racing horses from being passed by a faster horse, and charmed lovers. And, of course, everyone knows a string of garlic keeps vampires at bay.
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. But it wasn’t always the ubiquitous culinary ingredient we know today. At one time, garlic was considered a food for the lower class. Egyptians used garlic to pay and feed the workers and slaves building the pyramids. The courts of England banned garlic because it upset the delicate constitution of high society socialites. (Or maybe because before the invention of toothpaste it was just way too unpleasant to hang out near someone with garlic breath.) And many religious orders considered it an unsavory herb and banned its consumption, perhaps because it was tied to pagan rituals or because it was known to ignite passion.
Sweet, spicy, bitter, aromatic, and warming. These are just a few of the adjectives that describe the flavor of garlic - depending on how it’s prepared. Freshly minced, garlic’s pungent heat can be used to give a dip or dressing the kick it was missing. A just-roasted bulb of garlic, sweet and warm, provides the perfect accompaniment to a buttery wedge of Brie. Mostly though, garlic is used as a layering flavor to build depth in a variety of dishes from stews to marinades to curries. Like salt or acid, it’s easy to notice a bland taste when something is “missing” from a dish and, often, that something is garlic.
Here are some of our favorite ways to spice up our dishes with garlic:
- Dehydrated Minced Garlic: Perfect for slow-cooked dishes, like roasts or stews, dehydrated minced garlic will soften and mellow with longer cooking times.
- Granulated Garlic: This is a great building block for creating balanced flavors. This quality makes granulated garlic a great substitute for salt, especially if you’re watching your sodium intake. Simply replace 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 1/8 teaspoon of dehydrated granulated garlic.
- Garlic Salt: The combination of pungent granulated garlic and sweet roasted garlic is the secret ingredient that creates the perfect garlic flavor in this salt blend. Layering these two different garlics makes a noticeable difference and is why people get hooked on our Garlic Salt.
- Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend: People who love garlic usually also appreciate the bright burst of flavor that lemon provides. Hidden Cove has quickly becomes a go-to favorite when we introduce customers to it. Ginger accents the distinctive flavors of lemon and garlic, while allspice and white pepper add grounding notes and balance the taste of the blend. Equally good on fish as pork but also perfect for sprinkling on veggies or as a marinade, part of the appeal of this seasoning is that it is very versatile!
- Gourmet Santa Maria Sea Salted BBQ Rub: This blend highlights the depth of flavor you can achieve with a combination of two types of garlic. The coarse salt and minced garlic form a nice crust for grilling, while the granulated garlic, black pepper, and parsley create flavor. Gourmet Santa Maria is really an all-purpose blend for garlic and salt lovers.
- Classic BBQ Rubs: Onion and garlic are a classic combination and form the base for many seasonings, not the least of which are barbeque blends. From our Native Texan BBQ Rub to Team Sweet Mama’s Kansas City Style Rub to Memphis BBQ Rub, the combination of onion and garlic create a flavor foundation that can carry everything from paprika to cayenne and coriander to cumin.