Allium sativum

In Brazil, it is hard to find a savory dish that does not start with sautéed garlic as part of the refogado (similar to a soffritto) − a habit inherited from the Portuguese colonizers. Together with onions and leeks, it is a member of the genus Allium, including several aromatic plants to which Brazilians owe many of their childhood memories, for its omnipresence in homemade, comfort foods. Originally from Europe and western Asia, it was mentioned as early as 3000 BC, in Babylonian records. Nowadays, it is used worldwide as a condiment and can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted or fried, to season or as main ingredient in several recipes. Because it contains allicin, an active antiseptic beneficial to the heart and blood circulation, it is also used for medicinal purposes.