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Promoting Garlic

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garlic

Cool Stuff About Garlic!

Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of garlic grown in Minnesota and 300 varieties grown worldwide? Garlic is planted in October and harvested in July in Minnesota. In fact, Minnesota has its very own Garlic Festival each year, complete with music, games and of course garlic galore!

Garlic has a rich history dating back as far as 6000 years. It is among the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The ancient Egyptians actually worshiped garlic. At one time, garlic was so valued that is was used as money! Garlic is a root vegetable, with the bulb (head) growing underground. Each head is composed of 6-12 smaller cloves. One clove has about 4 calories. The pungent flavor of garlic is created after cutting or chopping garlic, causing a chemical reaction to take place.

Americans eat more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year. More than 3000 publications from all over the world exist that confirm the health benefits of garlic. Several studies have shown a cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic in humans. Garlic has not only been found to be good for your heart, it can keep away mosquitoes in the summer! Garlic was even once thought to keep vampires away. You can pick some up with your family at the local farmer’s market or FARM NAME. Try using the recipe in this month’s newsletter. Today at lunch, you will have the opportunity to sample garlic in FOOD ITEM from FARM NAME/CITY.

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In [MONTH] your child tried [FOOD ITEM] with locally grown garlic from [FARM NAME] in [CITY]. Prepare this delicious recipe with your family and ask your child(ren) if they can answer the following trivia questions.

  1. Minnesota has its very own Garlic Festival every year. How many different varieties of garlic are grown right here in our state?
  2. Garlic dates back as far as 6000 years ago and is among the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It is known that ancient Egyptians worshiped garlic. It was so valuable they even used it as what?
  3. Garlic is a root vegetable with the bulb (head) growing underground. Each head has 6-12 smaller cloves. The pungent flavor of garlic is created after doing what with it?

Trivia Answers

  1. There are at least 100 varieties of garlic grown in Minnesota and 300 varieties grown worldwide! In Minnesota, garlic is planted in October and harvested in July! Garlic is a root vegetable, with the bulb (head) growing underground. Each head is composed of 6-12 smaller cloves.
  2. Money! It is said that Egyptian slaves built the pyramids on a diet of bread, water, and garlic. Today, Americans eat more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year.
  3. Cutting or chopping breaks garlic cells and creates a chemical reaction. Garlic has not only been found to be good for your heart, it can keep away mosquitoes in the summer, which might be the basis for the belief that garlic repelled vampires!

MS Word version of Newsletter

garlic

History and Origin

  • Garlic is among the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Historical references to garlic are found as far back as 6000 years ago in the mountains of Central Asia.
  • The ancient Egyptians worshiped garlic; it was also once so valuable it was used as money. It is said that Egyptian slaves built the pyramids on a diet of bread, water, and garlic.
  • Garlic has long been considered an herbal wonder drug, used by monks in the Middle Ages to protect against plague, and by some today to treat symptoms of the cold and common flu.
  • Garlic’s pungent odor was believed to supply strength and courage to those who ate it. Garlic has been used for everything from embalming and warding off evil spirits, to treating the common cold, tuberculosis and broken bones!
  • Garlic is a member of the Allium genus, which also includes leeks, onions, and shallots.
  • Garlic is a perennial root vegetable, with the bulb (head) growing underground. It is composed of pungent bulblets commonly called cloves.
  • There are over 300 varieties of garlic grown worldwide. One of the most common varieties is American garlic, with white, papery skin and strong flavor.
  • Italian and Mexican garlic have a pinkish-purple skin and slightly milder-flavored varieties.

Nutrition

  • Garlic contains only 4 calories per clove.
  • If you consumed 1 cup of garlic this would provide nearly 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
  • Studies show that sulfur compounds in garlic may help reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol and is a good at preventing blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Allicin and diallyl sulphides are the two main medical ingredients that produce the garlic health benefits.
  • Studies have shown garlic can control acne, suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant good for cardiovascular health.

Did you know…?

  • Americans consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year.
  • Eating garlic can help to keep mosquitoes away.
  • Once acre of land can on average yields 8000 - 10,000 pounds of garlic.
  • Currently there are 2.5 million acres of garlic production worldwide.
  • Each bulb consists of a cluster of 6-12 smaller cloves around a central core. Each clove is enclosed in thin papery sheaths with the whole cluster wrapped in another papery sheath. Garlic can be white, greyish or purplish.
  • The pungent flavor of garlic is caused by a chemical reaction which occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense shortly after cutting or chopping. This chemical reaction cannot occur after garlic is cooked, which is why smoked garlic is sweet and nutty rather than pungent.
  • There are more than 3000 publications from all over the world that have confirmed the recognized health benefits of garlic.
  • Several clinical reports have revealed a cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic in humans.
  • Garlic was once thought to ward off vampires. Wear some garlic around your neck, and a vampire would not dare come near!
  • To rid your hands of garlic smell, wash them thoroughly and then rub them on a chrome faucet.
  • When the French joined a Soviet space mission in late 1986, their menus caused an international stir. The French would not go into space without garlic and apparently the ventilation system couldn't dispel the aromas quickly enough for Soviet spacemen — which led to some interesting diplomatic talks.

How to Eat Garlic

  • Garlic can be added to just about any savory dish as a seasoning and can also be eaten raw.
  • Garlic can be baked whole or chopped and added to sauces, butters, casseroles, roasts, soups, dips, eggs, vegetables and salads.

The above information was compiled from:

http://www.pbrc.edu/division-of-education/pdf/pns/PNS_Garlic.pdf
www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/garlic.html
www.smokingarlic.com/funfacts.htm
www.fruitandveggieguru.com/
homecooking.about.com
http://producepedia.com/produce/garlic-0
www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/vegetables/growing-garlic-in-minnesota/
www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest/index.html
www.freshforkids.com.au/veg_pages/garlic/garlic.html

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Tasting Poster (387 K PDF)

Table Top Trifold (170 K PDF)

Index Card (597 K PDF)

Photos

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basket of garlic

Basket of Garlic

photo by Jerry Ford
Garlic Festival,
Central Chapter SFA
garlic braids

Garlic Braids

photo by Jerry Ford
Garlic Festival,
Central Chapter SFA
garlic bulbs

Garlic Bulbs

photo by Jerry Ford
Garlic Festival,
Central Chapter SFA

 

garlic
  • Functional Food — Garlic — Lesson plan, PowerPoint presentation, crossword puzzle, other materials for use with older students.
  • Saturday Sancocho - Detailed lesson plan in economics for upper-level elementary or junior high students. A family barters for the ingredients, including garlic, so that they can prepare a special food. Object of the lesson is to demonstrate how use of money, rather than barter, makes trade easier.
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