The Panacean Garlic of Voghiera
Wards off sickness, lowers blood pressure, aids digestion and soothes pain. These are just some of the benefits of Garlic, and there are even sources which claim it is an aphrodisiac. The garlic produced in the outskirts of Ferrara City in Voghiera is registered as DOP (Protected Designation of Origin)
The Garlic of Voghiera
60% of the garlic produced in Ferrara is cultivated in Voghiera, an area covering 110 hectares, and producing 1.1 million tons of garlic annually. In order to select the best bulbs for planting, the region has even been introducing the use of a mechanical sorting system. The Voghiera Garlic Consortium links thirty five different producers with affiliated marketing companies, and promotes research for improving the garlic’s production and utilisation.The Limitless Benefits of Voghiera Garlic
Garlic, scientific name “Allium Sativum” is of the liliaceae (lily) family, with uniform white cloves, and white and pink stripes on the outer layer. Garlic’s history is ancient, and the benefits it has for one’s health are many. Garlic is full of vitamins, especially Vitamin B, and is highly valued for the flavonoids in its bulb, and for the allicin compounds which are released through a chemical reaction that occurs when the bulb is crushed or cut. Garlic has a strong antibacterial effect, however this effect is lost when garlic is cooked, and so this effect only manifests when raw. Garlic is also an incredibly strong antibiotic, and is one of a select group of foods that activates the Trpa1 receptors, which inhibits the body’s pain response and raises its pain threshold.Production Regulations of Voghiera Garlic
Upon harvesting, Voghiera Garlic is defined as ‘fresh’ for the first five days, ‘semi-dry’ for the following six to ten, and then as dried from the eleventh. After being harvested, it is naturally dried to reduce the water content and protect wrinkling, whereby the garlic loses 45% of its volume. According to the DOP regulations there are three specified acceptable methods for drying: natural drying outdoors, drying indoors on wooden racks, or in isolated chambers kept between 25 and 35°C. In order to present the bulbs at the market, the outer layer and root are removed and the bulb is treated to bring out its natural whiteness. When sold in braids, the garlic is left with root and outer layer intact. The bulbs are selected by size at a minimum of 45mm. While Voghiera garlic is available all-year-round, the bulbs must be preserved in a dry environment. The garlic is also sold in paste and oil form, and is often used to flavour oil, salami and cheese.
Artecibo editorial board
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