Garlic is likely to be one of your restaurant's staple ingredients. You use it all the time and need a constant supply.
While buying in bulk makes sense — you won't run out of bulbs and will pay less for larger orders — it's worth thinking about where your garlic comes from. While a lot of garlic is imported from overseas, you can also buy home-grown bulbs from Australian producers.
What are the benefits of buying from domestic suppliers?
1. Better Taste
While even locally grown garlic may have spent time in storage before you buy it, you're likely to get fresher bulbs. In some cases, your garlic will be in your restaurant very soon after harvesting.
However, if you buy overseas products, they are likely to be much older. After harvesting, they'll have spent some time in transit and then in storage before you buy them.
Buying fresh garlic makes a difference. As garlic ages, its taste changes. It can become bitter. Fresh garlic is sweet and pungent. It simply tastes better and will enhance your dishes.
2. Fewer Treatments
If you buy imported garlic, you don't know if the farmer has treated the bulbs with any chemicals. They may also have had to use treatments to meet import rules. For example, other countries may have different rules on chemicals, such as pesticides, that farmers can spray on crops.
So, imported garlic may have been through treatments that Australian farmers aren't allowed to use because they are harmful. Plus, the garlic probably had to have anti-bacterial treatments to pass through the import process.
Domestically grown garlic meets Australian standards. It doesn't need import treatments.
3. Branding Advantages
If sustainability and environmental issues matter to you, then you may try to run your restaurant on these principles. For example, you may try to buy food from local producers or focus on using products in season wherever you can.
Buying domestic garlic is useful here. You won't be importing goods from overseas but will be supporting Australian businesses. You stand a better chance of getting truly organic bulbs. This boosts your branding and appeals to customers who eat with you because your principles are the same as their own.
To find out more about how to buy garlic from a local or domestic source, contact your food supplier. They can help you source products from Australian farmers rather than overseas suppliers.