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White garlic

( ) 2020-04-13

White garlic

White garlic produced in Jiading district, Shanghai [Photo/]

Jiading district in Shanghai boasts a long history in planting white garlic, as legend has it that the vegetable was first planted during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1276) and exported to Southeast Asia in the early Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Historical records show that in the 27th year of the Republic of China (1938), Jiading had planted 268 hectares of white garlic and achieved output of 800 metric tons. In 1948, 1,750 tons of garlic were exported to Southeast Asia from Jiading through more than 40 companies.

Jiading has seen its white garlic planting area expand since the 1950s, and a test center was built up in 1979 to help the district increase production. With such progress, Jiading was ranked as a national garlic export base in 1983 and gained an honorary certificate.

The white garlic in Jiading is a well-bred variety cultivated by local farmers for nearly 100 years. It was popular both at home and abroad for its color and luster, fat head, stout body, crisp taste, strong smell and long shelf life.

It can be eaten raw or cooked, and garlic soaked in salt or vinegar is a favorite recipe in Jiading. It can also be added to meat dishes to increase the aroma. Aside from garlic that is quick-frozen, sliced, powdered, smashed and dehydrated, the vegetable is also seen in the market as an ingredient in ice cream and wine.

According to Compendium of Materia Medica, a Chinese herbology volume written by Li Shizhen during the Ming dynasty, garlicis not only good to eat, but also effective in sterilization, curing diseases, getting fit, and other medicinal effects.

The vegetable contains more than 60 beneficial substances and has been listed by many foreign countries as a valuable raw material for medicines, tonic drinks, health food and cosmetics.



Jiading Fahua Pagoda

The Fahua Pagoda, 40.8 meters tall, is a square, brick-wood structure with seven stories, accessible by ladders.