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Wednesday
July

6

2005
12:22 AM



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Entry: July 6, 2005,
Aladdin Mediterranean Market & Deli, San Mateo, Ca, tasted on April 3, 2004

01-aladdin market.jpg 02-eggs.jpg 03-cabbage salad.jpg
04-yummy.jpg 05-hilda making tabouleh.jpg 06-more mixing.jpg
07-turkish tabouleh.jpg 08-spices for sale.jpg 09-shawarma.jpg
10-shawarma2.jpg 11-slicing the shawarma.jpg 12-more slicing.jpg
13-color from beets.jpg 14-bastirma.jpg 15-chummus.jpg
16-more salads.jpg 17-tahina salad.jpg 18-feta cheese.jpg
19-produce.jpg 20-nut bins.jpg 21-sunflower seeds.jpg
22-more sunflower seeds.jpg 23-lots of pita options and lavash.jpg 24-canned goods.jpg
25-israeli butter and arab cheese.jpg 26-israeli and syrian pickles.jpg 27-olives olives olives.jpg
28-liqueurs.jpg 29-george.jpg 30-more feta.jpg
31-spinach pie.jpg 32-bit of spinach pie.jpg 33-cucumbers.jpg
34-falafel.jpg 35-israeli chocolate.jpg 36-israeli chocolate2.jpg
37-israeli chocolate inside.jpg    

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

   

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  Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane. Today's major garlic suppliers include the United States (mainly California, Texas and Louisiana), France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: the white-skinned, strongly flavored American garlic; the Mexican and Italian garlic, both of which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the Paul Bunyanesque, white-skinned elephant garlic (which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek), the most mildly flavored of the three. Depending on the variety, cloves of American, Mexican and Italian garlic can range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Elephant garlic (grown mainly in California) has bulbs the size of a small grapefruit, with huge cloves averaging 1 ounce each. It can be purchased through mail order and in some gourmet markets. Green garlic, available occasionally in specialty produce markets, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves. It resembles a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb, sometimes tinged with pink. The flavor of a baby plant is much softer than that of mature garlic. Fresh garlic is available year-round. Purchase firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves, and those stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, though they will begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days. Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes. Among the exceptions are roasted garlic bulbs and the famous dish, "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," in which unpeeled garlic cloves are baked with chicken in a broth until they become sweet and butter-soft. Crushing, chopping, pressing or pureeing garlic releases more of its essential oils and provides a sharper, more assertive flavor than slicing or leaving it whole. Garlic is readily available in forms other than fresh. Dehydrated garlic flakes (sometimes referred to as instant garlic) are slices or bits of garlic that must be reconstituted before using (unless added to a liquid-based dish, such as soup or stew). When dehydrated garlic flakes are ground, the result is garlic powder. Garlic salt is garlic powder blended with salt and a moisture-absorbing agent. Garlic extract and garlic juice are derived from pressed garlic cloves. Though all of these products are convenient, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. One unfortunate side effect of garlic is that, because its essential oils permeate the lung tissue, it remains with the body long after it's been consumed, affecting breath and even skin odor. Chewing chlorophyll tablets or fresh parsley is helpful but, unfortunately, modern-day science has yet to find the perfect antidote for residual garlic odor.  

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