35 Strange Garlic Facts That Might Leave You Surprised! | Kidadl


35 Strange Garlic Facts That Might Leave You Surprised!

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Garlic has been one of the most basic ingredients while cooking any cuisine in the world.

Garlic can instantly elevate the taste of any food we add it to. But did you know that garlic can also offer a lot of health benefits?

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a spice that is widely used as a major flavoring ingredient. It belongs to the genus Allium and is a species of flowering bulbous plant. Garlic grows from a bulb into a tall and erect stem of about 3 ft (1 m). The leaf blade of a garlic plant can be flat, solid, and straight and measures up to about 0.5-1.0 in (1.2-2.5 cm) on its width. One can spot a garlic plant with its odoriferous bulb along with its pink and purple hermaphrodite flowers that bloom between July to September. Most common garlic can be found with white or pinkish bulbs.

With that, let's dig into some of the most interesting and lesser-known facts about garlic.

Origin And History Of Garlic

Have you ever wondered where garlic might have first originated from? Read on to find out!

One of the oldest horticulture crops, garlic, was first known to have been cultivated by the Sumerians.

Garlic has been found mentioned in Egyptian and Indian cultures about 5000 years ago. Few pieces of evidence also suggest that garlic was cultivated in China about 4000 years ago.

The center of origin of garlic is Central Asia, mostly in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Garlic was incorporated into ancient Egyptian cuisine for the first time, making it the first ancient civilization to use it.

The third millennium BC saw the use of garlic not just by the nobility but also for medicinal purposes and religious rituals. It was given to slaves for its nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and a lot of amino acids.

Types And Subspecies

Let's now take a look at the type or subspecies that our favorite garlic comes in.

Garlic comes in two different subspecies; the hardneck and softneck.

The ‘neck’ in terms of garlic refers to the stalk of the particular garlic.

Hardneck garlic has a stiffer stalk than the latter.

While softneck garlic stalks are instead formed out of leaves.

Hardneck garlic stalk grows out from the center of the garlic and becomes hard once matured.

While softneck stalk stays soft as well as flexible.

Hardneck garlic, as compared with softneck, is packed with much more complex flavors reflecting their origins.

Although hardneck garlic cloves are much fewer in numbers, they, however, come in huge sizes.

Hardneck can be further divided into nine subtypes that include purple stripe, marbled purple stripe, glazed purple stripe, Middle Eastern, Creole, Asiatic, turban, rocambole, and porcelain.

Softneck garlic types are much more suitable in milder climates, mature very quickly, and can easily be stored.

Softnecks can further be divided into the following subtypes; Blanco Piacenza, Inchelium red, silver rose, Corsican red, California early and late whites, silver-white, and French red.


Can you guess the countries that produce the highest number of garlic? Let’s find out!

About 58729120598 lb (26639081000 kg) of garlic is produced worldwide, every year.

China has so far been the largest producer of garlic, with a production of 46877413304 lb (21263237000 kg) each year.

India stands right next to China as the second-largest garlic producer that produces 3086471671 lb (1400000000 kg) of garlic every year.

April 19 is celebrated as the ‘National Garlic Day’

Uses: Culinary, Storage, Medicinal, Religious And Spiritual

Let’s look at a few culinary, storage, medicinal, and spiritual facts about garlic.

Garlic is widely used as a seasoning all around the world.

The most common part to be used is the pant’s bulb which can further be divided into numerous fleshy parts, also called ‘garlic cloves.'

Garlic is domestically storage in dry areas with a temperature above 64 °F (18 °C), while it is commercially stored at 32 °F (0 °C).

Garlic is traditionally stored by hanging, and softneck types are mostly stored by braiding in strands.

If stored in oil, one can produce garlic oil.

Garlic is also traditionally used for its health benefits.

Garlic contains anti-cancer properties that reduce the chances of stomach cancer.

Apart from that, garlic is also traditionally used for treating the common cold or cold sores. However, there isn’t much evidence that backs this theory about the common cold.

Garlic is also believed to help maintain blood pressure bone health and helps prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Garlic was also referred to as the ‘Russian Penicillin’ by Russian doctors during WWII.

Raw garlic can also be extremely beneficial due to its higher amounts of allicin as compared to cooked ones.

Many cultures also use garlic as a protection against evil spirits and demons.

Central Europeans are also said to have used garlic to keep werewolves and vampires away.


We now know how a single garlic clove can have a lot of health benefits. Come let’s explore them in detail. The following information about garlic nutritional value is in terms of every 3.5 oz (100 g) of garlic.

For every 3.5 oz (100 g) of garlic, you get 149 kcal.

Garlic can also have about 1.5 oz (33.06 g) of carbs.

It contains 0.02 oz (0.5 g) of fat along with 0.2 oz (6.6 g) of protein.

Garlic is also loaded with micronutrients, including vitamins Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, Folate (F9), Choline, and vitamin C.

Minerals found in garlic include calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.


What is the secret of garlic?

Garlic is full of flavors and health benefits at the same time.

Who discovered garlic?

Garlic is believed to have been first discovered by the Sumerians.

Does garlic fight diabetes?

Garlic can help regulate blood sugar levels making it helpful in fighting diabetes.

What is the garlic capital of the world?

Gilroy, California, is known as the garlic capital of the world.

What country did garlic originate in?

Middle Asia is the native of garlic.

How many varieties of garlic are there worldwide?

There are approximately 300 different types of garlic that are cultivated all across the world.

What cultures are known to use garlic in their cuisine?

Cuisines including the Mediterranean, European, Asian, and North African are commonly known for using garlic as a staple.

How was garlic first used?

Evidence of garlic use can be dated back to ancient Asia.

What is the strongest type of garlic?

Hardneck garlic types are the strongest type of garlic in the world.

What is the largest garlic?

Robert Kirkpatrick from California is known to have grown the largest garlic head weighing 2.6 lb (1.19 kg), in 1985.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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