It is a member of the allium family that also includes onions, chives, shallots, spring onions and leeks. The most common varieties of garlic contain 10 cloves (or segments) with white skin. Other varieties have pink or purple skin and larger cloves. As a rule, the smaller the clove, the stronger the taste.
Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw garlic produces a strong, pungent flavour while cooking gives a more mellow flavour. The longer garlic is cooked, the milder and sweeter the flavour. It’s usually used in small amounts, 2-3 cloves to a dish. Garlic burns easily, so take care when frying or sautéing. It can be used in vegetable dishes, meats, soups, dips, stir fries, braises and stews. Add whole unpeeled cloves into a roasting pan with meat or vegetables. Cut a whole head in half horizontally and roast in a little olive oil. When cooked, serve as it is, or squeeze the roasted flesh out and serve on crostini or fresh bread.