L’Aglio Rosso di Sulmona is barely known outside of the world of gourmets, chefs and those who have been on holiday to Abruzzo in Italy. However, when trying to recreate a little bit of authentic Abruzzo cooking this is often the forgotten ingredient. To be frank, once you savour the difference between the cloves of this garlic and all others, you will be hooked. Red Garlic is renowned for its delicate taste and without any hint of bitterness – the latter being greeted with joy by anyone who has unsuccessfully tried to make Bruschette or a simple Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino and has ended up with a horrible acidic mess.
The secret to these simple key Italian dishes lies in its principal ingredient and with the liberal use of the sweet Red Garlic of Sulmona they taste exactly as they should.
From the outside the white bulb looks like any other. It’s only when you whip off their thin, outer skins that you see their reddish-purple jackets. This type of garlic is also must for those who believe in natural remedies to help fight off aliments. Red garlic has some of the highest ‘allistatin’ natural antibiotic levels found within the garlic & onion family.
A recommended holistic cold & flu remedy from the Sulmona area is to simmer 5 slices of lemon, 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves of unpeeled red garlic in a couple of glasses of water to drink before bedtime as soon as you start to feel peaky.
Unlike run-of-the-mill genetically modified supermarket garlic – where you seem to need double the amount of garlic suggested within any recipe to find the sort of flavour that so many cook books describe, these chunky bulbs pack a fine pungent punch. If it says to use 1 clove then that is all you’ll need when trying to recapture the essence of so many simple Italian lunches on a hot summer’s day.