How many Cloves in a Head of Garlic? 3 reasons Why It is Important to Know
Do you love the flavor of garlic in your recipes? Would you deny if I said that garlic has a permanent place in our kitchens? Similar to its cousin onion, garlic also seems to have a place of its own in any cuisine, be it west or east. Also known as the “stinking rose,” this vegetable is quite famous for its pungent odor and numerous health benefits.
It is indeed an exciting thing to find out how many cloves in a head of garlic? I have never thought about the numbers until I decided to plants some. It becomes more essential to find out how many cloves each head will have when it comes to choosing a particular variety to plant. The number of cloves is wholly dependent on the variety of Garlic. If you, too, are a fan of this spicy vegetable, then this article is a must-read. So, let's learn some more about garlic heads and cloves in detail in this tutorial. Before we head to the technicalities and numbers, let's spend some time in knowing some fun facts about this vegetable.
Care for Some Trivia About Garlic?
The word Garlic comes from the Anglo-Saxon word (old English) “garleac,” which is a combination of two words gar – which means spear and leac mean leek. When you put both together, it means spear-shaped leek.
This seasoning and flavoring vegetable was known to man more than 5000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians used it as a food as well as medicine. Today is us used as the most common seasoning across the globe.
China produces more than 80% of the world’s total garlic requirements. In the US you will find that California has the highest production of garlic and hence Gilroy in California is called as the “Garlic Capital of the World”
How Many Cloves in A Garlic Head?
I did mention earlier that the number of cloves in each depends on the type of garlic. That being said, even if it belongs to the same variety, the number of pearls (Chinese call the cloves as pearls) will differ from one another. Some varieties have just 5 of 6 cloves in each head. You will be surprised that some of the bigger varieties will have you counting more than 30 in each head.
There are about 600 different varieties of garlic, and these are broadly classified into two broad categories Hardneck and Softneck.
The names hard and soft refer to the firmness of the stalks of each variety. Well-known varieties under the hardneck are Rocambole, Spanish Roha, German Red, German White, purple-striped, etc. While under the softneck, we have two prevalent varieties, such as Silverskins and Artichoke. Silverskins are the popular softneck variety that we find in our grocery store. It tends to have more cloves per head.
Why Is It Important to Know How Many Cloves?
Reason # 1 – Head v/s Clove of garlic
This is perhaps the main reason which will make many of us think that the head and clove are two different things. Yes, I bet many are reading this and thinking yes, I am one of them. So, the head is also called as the bulb holds together all the small pieces of garlic, which are called cloves.
If at all you are a novice at cooking, the chances are high that you might easily get confused with the bulb and clove. To the rescue of the novices, there are not many dishes that use whole garlic as in the head except when you want to have roasted garlic. Most dishes use garlic cloves in their preparation.
Reason # 2 – Planting garlic
If you intend to take up the cultivation of this seasoning vegetable, you will want to know how the produce is going to be. You would want to know how much cloves each variety will give you. When you plant a particular variety say California Late, which provides you with 10 to 15 cloves per head, you know how much your produce is going to be at the time of harvest.
Reason # 3 - Cooking
The numbers are significant when you are roasting the whole garlic head. The recipe may require you to have a certain number of cloves per head. This is important because Garlic has a powerful and pungent aroma. So, to keep the flavor of your dish intact, it is essential to know how many cloves will be there in each head.
Sometimes it is simply fun to know how many cloves each bulb will have (provided you are a fab of garlic). Of course, if you have the time to count it.
Does the Count Matter? Even A Single Clove Has A Lot of Health Benefits
There are numerous benefits that this seasoning vegetable offers and is the reason why even ancient civilizations viewed it as an effective medicine.
A single clove is a powerhouse of vitamins and other essential nutrients – One clove of garlic consists of a good amount of Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Selenium. It comes with a very smaller number of calories, which further makes it healthier. Garlic also has calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and Vitamin B1. It is almost like a complete natural multi-vitamin supplement you can have every day.
Effective in combating sicknesses – Garlic is known to boost the immune system and thereby act as an innate immunity booster. Garlic supplements are known to protect you from the common cold and reduce the severity of the flu.
Helpful in managing Hypertension – Studies have found garlic can improve the blood pressure in those who are suffering from hypertension. There are garlic supplements that use the active components in clove to help to reduce the high blood pressure and is often used as an alternative to conventional BP medicines.
Helps reduce Bad Cholesterol – Garlic supplements can reduce the LDL (Bad Cholesterol) by about 10%. This further helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases. However, garlic does not have any significant impact on triglyceride levels, which is yet another dangerous component in the cholesterol levels.
Garlic is an excellent anti-oxidant – thus, it helps in protecting the body against oxidative damage. It may help in slowing down or reducing the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, etc.
Are you already considering growing this medicinal herb in your garden? Hope this article has also inspired you to include garlic in your daily food routine. What you need to remember is that irrespective of the number of cloves in each head, it offers you a plethora of benefits. The number of cloves will vary from one another, and no two garlic heads from the same plant will have the same amount of cloves. However, the average number of cloves in a standard garlic head can range anywhere from 10 to 15. Hope you had a good time reading this article. Please do comment in the section below if you liked the article.