What’s a Head of Garlic and Why Should You Care?

If you are into cooking or a foodie person, then you must have heard about garlic, and its head. Garlic has a distinct flavor, and it has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. It is the key ingredient that adds flavor and aroma to every cuisine, especially Mediterranean and Asian dishes. If you are not aware of what is Garlic head and how it is used, then this article is for you.

What is a Head of Garlic?

In cooking or grocery stores, you must have seen a bulb-like structure that contains multiple cloves of Garlic. This is known as a head of garlic. The head of garlic is an essential ingredient used in various dishes worldwide. Garlic is propagated asexually, and its bulb or head grows underground. Garlic is categorized according to its subspecies or cultivars that affect its flavor and size. There are mainly two types of Garlic- Hardneck and Softneck, and the number of cloves can vary from four to thirty, depending on the subspecies.

How to choose the right Head of Garlic?

Choosing the right head of garlic is essential in cooking. A good quality garlic head should feel firm, with no soft spots, and should have tight skin with no blemishes. If you want soft and milder flavor garlic, then choose the Softneck variety, whereas Hardneck Garlic has a stronger flavor and is ideal for roasting, grilling, or in sauces.

How to store the Head of Garlic?

You can store the head of Garlic in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight or direct heat. You can either store it in a mesh or a bag with some ventilation. If the Garlic head has already been separated, store the unpeeled cloves in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Health benefits of Garlic:

Garlic is not only an excellent ingredient in cooking but also has numerous health benefits. Garlic contains Allicin, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in protecting against infections. Garlic is also great for the heart as it helps in reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure. Garlic is also known to have anticancer properties and helps in boosting immunity. Garlic has a strong aroma, and its smell and taste can reduce the risk of overeating.

How to use a Head of Garlic in cooking?

There are numerous ways to use Garlic in cooking. You can either use the whole head of garlic, individual cloves or use the minced, chopped or roasted garlic. Garlic can be added to sauces, soups, stews, marinades, and dressings to add flavor to the dishes. You can also sauté, bake, grill or roast garlic cloves for a unique flavor. Garlic is also used in making butter, mayonnaise or spreads.

Interesting facts about Garlic:

  1. Garlic is native to Central Asia and has been cultivated for over 5000 years.
  2. Chinese believe eating Garlic daily can boost health and longevity.
  3. The ancient Egyptians gave Garlic to the pyramid builders to boost their strength and stamina.
  4. Garlic has been used as an antiseptic in both world wars, where it was applied to wounds to prevent infections.
  5. Garlic wards off vampires- which is a myth.


Garlic is an essential ingredient in cooking and has numerous health benefits. It is an easy-to-use and versatile ingredient that adds flavor and aroma to any dish. Now that you know what is head of garlic and how to use it, try experimenting with garlic in your cooking, and elevate the taste of your dishes to a whole new level.


Q1. What is the difference between Hardneck and Softneck Garlic?

Ans. Hardneck Garlic has a strong flavor, large cloves and is ideal for roasting and grilling. Softneck Garlic has a mild flavor, small cloves and is best for dishes that require raw garlic.

Q2. How to know if Garlic is bad?

Ans. You can identify the bad garlic if it has soft spots, discolored or brown skin, bad odor, or has begun to sprout.

Q3. How many cloves are there in one head of garlic?

Ans. The number of cloves can vary from 4 to 30, depending on the subspecies of Garlic.

Q4. Can you substitute garlic powder for a fresh head of garlic in recipes?

Ans. Yes, you can substitute garlic powder, but the flavor and aroma will differ from fresh garlic.

Q5. Does garlic cause bad breath?

Ans. Yes, garlic has a strong aroma and can cause bad breath, but it’s not harmful.

Q6. Can I eat raw Garlic?

Ans. Yes, you can eat raw garlic, and it has numerous health benefits. But it’s best to consume it in moderation as it can cause digestive problems in some people.

Q7. How does Garlic help in heart health?

Ans. Garlic helps in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing the formation of blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or stroke.

Q8. Is Garlic a Superfood?

Ans. Garlic is considered a superfood due to its numerous health benefits and nutritional value.

Q9. How to remove the skin of Garlic easily?

Ans. You can easily remove the skin of Garlic by smashing the clove with a heavy object like a knife and then peeling the skin. You can also soak the cloves in water for 10-15 minutes before peeling them.


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