To me writing and reading about ingredients is very rewarding, I love to read blogs that tackle the perfect dish, the best restaurant and the perfect recipe, but its ingredients that get my creativity going and wake my passion for cooking and experimenting.
Garlic, is one of those ingredients that no self respecting foodie should ever be with out, it’s basic. It builds aroma, adds flavor a little spice and personality to a plate.
As far as good manners …. Garlic can be a bully, it can easily overpower you pallet and in some cases render food inedible, so care should be taken while using garlic. Since every head of garlic is different I have found the best way to gage how much to use is by smell specifically the woody end off the individual clove prior to mincing, your looking for the strength (pungency) and use this to imagine how it will flavor your dish and how much you need.
Garlic powder is acceptable for dry rubs and some applications where minced garlic is not the best choice, but in general there is no substitute for fresh pealed garlic it how its meant to be, also the green shoots and flowers are edible delicious and can really dress a plate.
Crack open a garlic bulb and play with some cloves, I love to make roasted garlic butter with herbs, it’s so easy my kids can make it and so satisfying.