Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species of onion in the family Alliaceae. Garlic is a close relative to onion, shallot, chive and rakkyo. It has been used throughout history for culinary and medicinal purposes. Hardneck garlic and softneck garlic are two of the different types of subspecies of garlic. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates, while softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.

Garlic plants can be planted close together, leaving enough room for the bulbs to mature. The bulb is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic plants grow well in high organic material content soil, but it is capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels. Garlic can be planted in containers of sufficient depth. When planting, pick large heads to separate cloves from, as they can improve head size. Removal of garlic scapes is to channel all the garlic's energy into bulb growth. The garlic scapes can then be used for cooking, especially as a stir-fry ingredient. Young scapes are tender and edible, and generally have a milder taste than cloves. The scapes are also known as garlic spears, stems or tops.

Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. It is hardy and seldom attack by many pests or diseases. Nematodes and white rot disease are the two major pathogens that attack garlic. The pathogens can remain in the soil indefinitely once the ground has become infected. A non-fatal disease called pink root, can stunt the roots of garlic plants and turns them pink or red.

China is the largest producer of garlic, providing about 77% of world output, followed by India, South Korea, Egypt, Russia, United States, Spain, Argentina, Myanmar, and Ukraine.

Garlic has pungent flavor and is used around the world as a seasoning or condiment. It is a fundamental component in most dishes of various regions. The flavor varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. Garlic is usually paired together with onion, tomato, and ginger. Pickled garlic is made by soaking the young bulbs of garlic in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices.

Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. When crushed, it yields allicin, a powerful antibiotic and antifungal compound (phytoncide). Allicin has been found to be the compound most responsible for the "hot" sensation of raw garlic. The process of cooking garlic removes allicin, thus mellowing its spiciness.

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Organically grown garlicOrganically grown garlic
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Garlic from a recent harvest awaiting collection in rural Goheung county, South Jeolla province, South KoreaGarlic from a recent harvest awaiting collection in rural Goheung county, South Jeolla province, South Korea
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Peeled garlicPeeled garlic
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An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlicAn Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.
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