9 Essential Ingredients of Italian Cuisine
Garlic is magical; at least that’s what the ancients Romans thought. We now know that garlic has both antibiotic and antifungal properties. In an era before antibiotics, garlic may have kept the Greeks and Romans free of infection. Garlic boasts anticancer characteristics—studies show it may lower breast, colon, stomach, throat and skin cancer risks. It’s heart-healthy, too, as it’s been shown to prevent clotting. The secret to all these health benefits? Sulfides. Those beneficial sulfides aren’t released, however, unless the garlic is crushed or chopped and left to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before eating or cooking. Garlic purchased already chopped offers the same benefits.
Garlic’s characteristic flavor adds dimension to just about any dish. Try adding chopped garlic to sautéed greens, salad dressings or homemade spaghetti sauce.