What are the Benefits and Uses of Garlic in Italian Cooking?
What are the Benefits and Uses of Garlic in Italian Cooking?

Photo courtesy of care2.com

Did you know that…

  • Garlic is one of the “all-around” herbs used in Italian cooking. It’s used minced in sauces, sautéed with vegetables, roasted with meat and so on.
  • A way to use garlic that reminds me of my childhood is in “Acquasale”, a typical raw summery sauce to be eaten with bread broken in pieces by hand. This was a dish prepared in poor families when there was not much to eat. The literal translation is “Water and salt”, you can imagine from it’s name that the recipe is very simple.

This is the version that I enjoyed so many times, a bunch of fresh cherry tomatoes, the tastier you can find, cut then in halves and put them in a bowl, add to them plenty of a good EVOO, oregano, crushed by hand garlic clove, salt and a little bit of  water (that it was used to dilute the sauce when there was very little to eat).

Dip in it roughly broken pieces of bread and enjoy.

  • Contrary to belief, we Italians use garlic only in moderation. In fact if you see an Italian Mama preparing a sauce for pasta you will notice that she will pour first the oil add 1 or 2 pressed with the hand cloves of garlic wait that they start to change color, remove them from the oil and add then the tomato passata or pelati and finish to cook it. It’s because garlic’s strong flavour and aroma can overpower the other flavours in the dish.
  • In the traditional Italian Bruschetta garlic is used very much and we do it in this way: toast the bread, take a half skinless clove of garlic and rub it on the bread before to add olive oil and your favourite topping. So enjoy your bruschetta. If you are interested I will share some toppings for bruschetta in one of my next posts.
  • Garlic is omnipresent in Italian cooking from pasta sauces to fish, seafood, meat and poultry dishes. But I never had garlicky dish in Italy not in my house, friend’s house and neither restaurant. Instead is very common to have this experience in “Italian” restaurant here in Ireland.
  • Garlic is also an “all-around” medicinal herb. It’s an antibiotic, diuretic, improves the immune system, promotes digestion and more.
  • Garlic’s taste and health benefits are not affected by pickling or marinating, in fact it’s safe to say that if you want to enjoy the health benefits of garlic you can try our range of garlic products, loved by so many customers like garlic patemarinated with chili or parsley.
  • Last tip, never refrigerate garlic. The cold temperature will cause it to go bad faster.


1 Comment

  • Geraldine Mahon

    Reply Reply

    Love your tips for recipes and the news letter.

    Must go to the Stillorgan market next week for more of your fabulous food

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