San Francisco’s Neighbor Down Highway 5 & 99, Garlic Paradise

Easy it is to become addicted to watching travel shows that feature some charismatic host trying the local cuisine and taking us along for the ride.

We can savor every bite and salivate with every new sauce.

Please don’t watch them on an empty stomach. We have and we couldn’t take it. We were dreaming of unique foods for days.

We had to eat something. Not just anything but something spicy and exotic.

It is amazing how many different ways there are to prepare beef, chicken, lamb and fish in delicious variety around the globe.

In most countries, one spice that is constantly used and has wonderful health benefits is the incredible power and taste of garlic.

Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium family. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. writer, Nick Collins photo credit

Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.

It was known to ancient Egyptians, and has been used both as a food flavoring and as a traditional medicine.

In Ancient Rome, it was much used for food among the poor. China produces some 80% of the world’s supply of garlic.

It has enhanced so many foods like pizza, buttered bread, meat, potatoes and, well Chinse food,  that it truly is a wonder food. writer, Engin Akyurt photo credit

And an extremely healthy one.

Many other past civilizations were very aware of that. At they educate, “Ancient civilizations used garlic to treat asthma, digestive disorders, heart disease, infections, respiratory disorders, tumors, and even intestinal worms. Today, claims for the health benefits of garlic include lower blood pressure and cholesterol, an anti-inflammatory effect, a reduced risk of cancer, and a stronger immune system.”

We are feeling full and healthier.

The health benefits described in modern times are flattering as well. The informative team at the World’s Healthiest Foods, add, “Studies on garlic-containing meal plans and cancer risk show potential benefits from regular intake of this much-loved vegetable. Varying decreases in risk have been associated with garlic consumption in different body locations, including the upper digestive tract (including the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus) as well as the stomach. In multiple studies, the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic have been directly implicated in these potential health benefits.”

Good to know. Our consumption of garlic is going to increase.

They continue, “The potential benefits of garlic intake for decreased risk of cardiovascular disease have been studied in a variety of conditions including heart attack (myocardial infarct), coronary artery disease (CAD), high blood pressure (hypertension), and atherosclerosis. The everyday flexibility of our blood vessels has been shown to improve with intake of garlic, and the likelihood of blood vessel damage due to chronic excessive inflammation has been shown to decrease when this allium vegetable in consumed on a regular basis.”

Isn’t it incredible when a food tastes good to you and is beneficial for you? A win, win situation.

“My mother was making $135 a week, but she had resilience and imagination. She might take frozen vegetables, cook them with garlic, onion and Spam, and it would taste like a four-star dinner.”…Andre Dubus III

There are many companies that supply garlic to restaurants, supermarkets, corner stores and manufacturers.

We look south just down the road on Highway 5 or 99 and drive into Bakersfield where a very talented garlic manufacturer plies their trade. Their name?

The Garlic Company.

Perfect name.

We have traveled through Bakersfield many a time on our way to enticing So. Cal and often stayed at their exceptional Marriott hotel.

Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County. writer, bakersfield photo credit

The city covers about 151 square miles near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation.

The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production.

It is an ideal location for The Garlic Company.

Others in the industry are impressed with The Garlic Company.

The group at reviews, “Founded in 1980, The Garlic Company has been producing high quality, California garlic products for more than 30 years. The company began as a simple packing house, selling whole bulbs of garlic to the marketplace. Over time, the company has advanced from a basic packing house to a unique food manufacturing facility.

In addition to offering quality whole bulb garlic, the company also produces garlic in freshly peeled, diced, sliced, chopped, and minced forms. Concerning further, value added products, the company manufactures garlic in fresh/frozen pureed, shelf stable pureed, pickled, and juice forms. Its customer base is focused on the foodservice industry but also includes retail and industrial accounts.”

It’s always nice when you have admirers in your industry.

Better it is when you can hear from them themselves. writer, photo credit via Walmart

Time for a visit to their warm Central Valley home at We want to know more about them. They oblige, “The Garlic Company is strategically located in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The area is well known for not only a warm Mediterranean climate, but also rich, fertile soil. Both characteristics help to create the ideal conditions for growing garlic. Moreover, The Garlic Company’s vertically integrated structure also helps to ensure premium garlic. The company maintains its own seed program in Oregon, where each year, raw garlic bulbs are shipped to California, processed, and planted. By maintaining an “in house” seed program, The Garlic Company is in complete control of its raw material chain, ensuring not only consistent flavor but also complete traceability.”

Living here in Nor Cal we can attest to the accommodating weather. It is ideal for growing garlic.

We’d like to hear more. “The type of seed variety grown is also very important. The Garlic Company grows a variety of seed called “California Late,” well known for producing a true and robust garlic flavor which distinguishes this variety from other domestically grown and imported varieties. Studies have proven that “California Late” not only has a solid structure but also a higher brix level, which directly contributes to producing an award-winning garlic flavor. It is one reason many respected chefs opt for the overall quality of “California Late” garlic.

The Garlic Company’s product line has grown dramatically over the years, but the keys to its success have remained constant: Providing quality garlic to our customers is foremost. But, just as important, we offer exceptional customer service and the comfort of working with a trusted, reliable partner.”

Watching chefs around the world work their magic applying garlic to their exquisite dishes, we salivate and wish we were there, at table side.

Enjoy your garlic.

That variety of foods that you can add it to is only limited by your imagination and as you continue to watch the food related travel channels, not only will your imagination grow, your appetite will as well.

Good health to you.

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