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Is Garlic a Vegetable Or Root? (Garlic Classification)

Garlic has a lot of health benefits, and it’s used for various purposes, including cooking. But is garlic a vegetable or root? Some people view garlic as a root, but is that actually what it is?

Garlic is seen as a cooking ingredient, which makes the classification a bit tough. However, botanically, garlic is considered a vegetable. It is a species with many varieties in the genus Allium. As a crucial culinary ingredient, garlic is also seen as a herb or spice.

This is not to get you confused, but most plants are classified botanically and culinary. Here is a detailed explanation as to whether garlic is a vegetable, root, or stem.

Botanical Classification of Garlic

Botanically, vegetables are the edible parts of a plant; they could be the stem, leaves, stem, or bulbs. Garlic (Allium Sativum) is bulbous, has a tall stem, and long leaves; all these are edible, and that makes garlic a vegetable, botanically.

Under vegetables, garlic is further classified as a “root vegetable.” Someone may ask, “what is a root vegetable?”

Root vegetables are plants that produce their fruits underground or any plant whose edible part grounds underground.

What Is A Root?

Root vegetables (sometimes shortened as “Roots”) is a type of vegetable, which edible parts grow underground. They are generally classified into True Roots and Non-roots.

True root vegetables are taproots and tuberous roots, while non-roots are bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes.

What Is A Stem?

“Stems” is the name given to vegetables gotten from the stem of plants. In other words, stems are plants with edible “stems.” An example of a stem vegetable is potatoes.

Culinary Classification of Garlic

Is Garlic a Vegetable Or Root

Chefs use garlic as a spice or herb, rather than a vegetable. To culinarians, sweet plants are called fruits and savory ones are called vegetables. However, garlic has a strong taste and is usually added in small quantities to foods.

Hence, to a chef, garlic is neither a vegetable nor a root vegetable. Instead, it is a spice for cooking or a herb for preparing certain recipes.

Is Garlic A Stem?

The stem of garlic is modified to stay underground. This modification occurred many years ago. A lot of people see garlic as a stem but it is not. Regardless, all parts of the garlic plant are edible, including the bulb, stem, and leaves.

However, since the most consumed part of the garlic plant is the bulb, which divides into various fleshy sections called cloves (used for cooking and medicinal purposes), garlic is not considered a “Stem.” So, is it a root or vegetable?

Is Garlic a Vegetable or Root?

Generally, plants are classified botanically and culinary. Some plants are considered fruits, botanically, but culinary, they are considered vegetables. Examples of such plants include cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, peas, and peppers.

To a culinarian, these abovementioned plants are vegetables, meanwhile, botanically, they are considered fruits. In the case of garlic, it’s quite complicated to point out the exact classification of the plant.

However, here is the conclusion about garlic. The plant Allium Sativum (Garlic) is a modified stem called the bulb. It is botanically classified as a vegetable. Further classification by plant experts placed garlic under “Root Vegetables.”

In essence, garlic is a vegetable and also a root. The term “Root” is the shortened form of root vegetables, which garlic happens to fall into the category.

Garlic is the most complicated species in the genus Allium, and it looks like onions. There are many health benefits of garlic, why is why it is used in most meals we cook. You can eat garlic raw or cooked. The strong taste can improve the aroma of meals.

What More?

So, is garlic a vegetable or root? Garlic is a vegetable because it has a bulb, a tall stem, and long leaves. It is also a root because the bulb grounds underground. There are many varieties of the garlic species, and its closest sibling in the Allium genus is onion.

You can eat garlic, raw, cooked, or roasted. Garlic is also used to prepare traditional medications; all parts of the plant are edible. Apparently, you will find garlic in all regions of the world. However, it is mostly grown in China.

Upon specific prescription, you can put garlic inside a bottle of water and let it stay for a long time.

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