Pungent produce

All the smelly, flavoursome foods are thriving in August…

Garlic1. These bulbs have been used in cooking and medicine for over 6,000 years, from central Asia to Africa, Italy to Egypt. Nowadays, China is the world’s biggest producer of garlic. 2. Garlic is easy to grow all year round. They’re very hardy and not prone to pest attack but can sometimes suffer from rotting diseases. 3. There’s an annual Garlic Festival held in the UK’s Isle of Wight, featuring about 250 stallholders selling fabulous yet freaky fare such as garlic beer and garlic ice cream!

Ginger1. Ginger has different uses all over the world: sweet in English ginger biscuits, savoury in Bangladeshi curries, as medicine in Burma, in ‘salabat’ tea in the Philippines, pickled in Korean ‘kimchi’ and in drinks like ‘sorrel’ in the Caribbean. 2. Ginger can be bought in various forms that widely differ in flavour, eg. candied, fresh, powdered and steeped. 3. The characteristic smell and taste of ginger comes from the volatile oils that it contains. These same oils are thought to have antibacterial and sedative properties.

Horseradish1. This vegetable comes from the Brassicaceae family, which includes equally pungent mustard and wasabi. 2. Long, white horseradish roots are usually peeled and grated, making them produce sinigrin, which makes your sinuses and eyes sting. Once grated, the horseradish is mixed with vinegar and cream to serve as a condiment with roast beef. 3. Horseradish dates back to Greek mythology. Legend has it that the Delphic oracle told Apollo: “The radish is worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver, the horseradish its weight in gold.”