Native to central Asia, garlic has been known to humans for over 7,000 years, used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. A staple in the Mediterranean region, garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment. The most common part of the plant is the inner bulb, which in turn is divided into numerous cloves. Garlic cloves have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking. The flavor varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. Garlic is an essential component in many dishes across the World, where it is often used with onion, tomato or ginger.