Very often you can find Chinese garlic on the shelves of many stores, which looks unusually white, and sometimes it can even turn out to be sprouted, and therefore its taste should not be compared with the taste of that crop that is grown in a home garden or purchased in a store from domestic farmers.
But due to low prices, buyers prefer the culture brought to us from China. You can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of this imported vegetable and what precautions you need to follow when using it, you can find out in this article.
What it is?
Chinese garlic (Jusai, Chinese onion) is a plant belonging to the onion family, used as a vegetable (garlic), and its flowers as a seasoning in food. Also, the use of this culture is very popular in Chinese traditional medicine.
Have you heard of black and wild garlic? Read about how to use them, as well as recipes for cooking with them, in our articles.
This variety of garlic differs from others in its round shape and the absence of a rod in the head, which is a distinctive feature of the spring type, therefore it is referred to as such. The teeth that make up the head are distinguished by an even and smooth surface, have a white color, sometimes smoothly turning into a light purple hue at the edges, which signals their youth and strength.
The difference is that during its growth, Chinese garlic has a greenish tint, which disappears by the time it is fully ripe, and the garlic turns white.
What does it look like in the photo?
We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the photo of Chinese garlic.
How to distinguish imported from China from Russian?
On store shelves culture attracts attention with its clean and fresh appearance, without signs of rot or any mechanical damage, while the domestic one does not have such an attractive appearance, and therefore the demand for it is less. This is the main difference between imported culture and Russian culture.
So, winter varieties that were harvested in July, already in November lose their external beauty: they gradually begin to dry out or germinate. The situation is the same with spring crops: by mid-March they lose their presentation. For details on how winter garlic differs from spring garlic, read here, and from this article you will learn about the 6 best frost-resistant types of this vegetable and recommendations for its cultivation and care.
The external attractiveness of Chinese garlic is due to the low content of essential oils and the high content of dry substances in it, and that is why it does not quickly dry out or freeze. Also, this imported culture can be purchased at any time of the year and at a low price, which cannot be said about the Russian one, the quality of which, it should be noted, is much higher.
Less essential oils in Chinese garlic does not mean that it is less nutritious than domestic garlic.
Benefit and harm: can you eat it or not?
What is harmful and dangerous?
Garlic imported from China has the following disadvantages:
- Garlic from China is not safe because it is grown on Chinese farms using a variety of harmful pesticides that are illegal in many countries. All this is done in order to increase profits and reduce the labor that needs to be spent on "production".
- The soil of farms where garlic is grown in China is also a special cause for concern, because according to the reports of scientists after analyzes carried out there, it became clear that it was mixing with arsenic, cadmium and other harmful substances.
- The water in the rivers of China is also worrying: it is contaminated with household waste and harmful chemicals that get there during the active work of industrial enterprises.
That is why it is recommended to buy garlic from local farmers or any other garlic grown in Russia, but the best thing is to plant it in your home garden yourself, because only then you can be sure of its quality and the exceptional benefits that its use will bring (about the peculiarities of growing garlic, we told here, and from this article you will learn about the nuances of caring for winter garlic, its diseases and feeding features).
Helpful or not?
Despite the above disadvantages of growing, Chinese garlic is useful, but to a lesser extent than Russian.
It can also help lower cholesterol levels, prevent some of the symptoms of diabetes, and can be very helpful for hypertension.
Be careful when eating Chinese garlic... It is necessary to comply with the rate of consumption of garlic in food, the excess of which is fraught with nausea, headache, skin irritation, by the way, as well as with excessive use of any other varieties of this culture.
Why is it turning green?
During the canning or cooking of any dishes, the hostesses cautiously note that the garlic turns green and turns blue, after which they get rid of spoiled products, because this does not inspire confidence in them and even frightens them, but, in turn, scientists found the cause of this phenomenon and gave a simple explanation. When the integrity of garlic is violated, its essential oils come out and enter into various reactions with the environment in which they are located. Most often this happens when pickling or canning vegetables, which can also be colored.
The main substance responsible for color change is allyl sulfide cysteine sulfoxide, or just alliin. In the course of such reactions, alliin decomposes into sulfates and sulfides. From the former, thiol, pyruvic acid and ammonia are formed, and from the latter, special pigments appear, due to which garlic takes on non-standard colors.
In this case, all the garlic used does not have to be colored. The intensity of the color or its presence depends on the degree of maturity of the garlic, the temperature at which the reaction took place, and the high content of amino acids in the medium. Therefore, the likelihood of young garlic to become extremely small than that of the "older"
If we consider Chinese garlic, then it is worth noting that China is located farther south than our country, and therefore the harvest has time to ripen to its maximum, and by this time a large amount of substances (mainly alliin) accumulates in it, due to which staining occurs ... This simple explanation is the reason for such a strange color change not only in Chinese garlic, but also in any other varieties, when used in cooking, canning and pickling.
The green or blue colors that appear does not mean that the garlic has suddenly become poisonous or harmful, so it can be safely consumed without any harm to the body.
Despite a number of contraindications, garlic is used to treat many diseases. But you need to remember that after eating this vegetable there is an unpleasant odor from the mouth and hands, as well as an allergic reaction. You will find tips on how to use garlic correctly so that there are no unpleasant consequences in separate articles on our portal.
Undoubtedly Chinese garlic, which appears in stores earlier than Russian, attracts customers... But it is important to know that its use can be harmful, so it is worth observing the norm, or even better - growing this crop yourself, in order to be sure of its safety.