Italian Word of the Day: Aglio (garlic)

One of the key ingredients in most Italian dishes is aglio, the word for garlic in Italian.

IPA: /ˈaʎʎo/

A bulb of garlic in Italian is testa d’aglio, which literally translates as a “head of garlic”, and each bulb is made up of a number of spicchi d’aglio (garlic cloves).

Pensi che io abbia messo troppo aglio nella salsa?

Do you think I put too much garlic in the sauce?

Due teste d’aglio = Two bulbs of garlic

One of my all-time favourite foods is pane all’aglio (garlic bread), though I try not to eat it in company for fear of developing un alito (bad breath)! 😉

Some other delicious foods you can make with garlic include aglio al forno (roasted garlic), burro all’aglio (garlic butter) and maionese all’aglio (garlic mayonnaise). It is also a staple of famous Italian sauces such as aioli, a Mediterranean sauce made of garlic and olive oil, and agliata, a savoury sauce used to flavour meat, fish and vegetables.

Chopping up garlic can not only be a nuisance, but it also leaves a potent smell (odore) on your fingers. That’s why many people (including myself) prefer to cut it up using a schiaccia aglio (garlic press) instead of a knife.

garlic and other vegetables on a dark wooden background

L’aglio lascia un odore molto forte sulle mani.

Garlic leaves a very strong smell on your hands.

Close to our home, you can pick fresh wild garlic (aglio orsino) in March and April and use it to make garlic pesto (pesto all’aglio orsino)!

Che buono che è il pesto fatto in casa! = Homemade pesto is so good!

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