Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Sunday 13 September 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Tossers and Turncocks

There is something irresistible about the aroma of roasted garlic. It is so captivating with its powerful notes, that it has long been used as a flavour booster in curries, stir-fries, pizza toppings, pastas, meat preparations, dips - you name it! It has the power to instantly liven up any dish and treat some of the most common ailments.

Oh and it keeps vampires away, what's not to like !!!!

Anyway this hot sauce dropped on ones table the other day and what a lovely drop it is. As a chilli head it has just the right amount of heat but not only that the pungency of the garlic is very addictive indeed, but anyway on to the garlic.

Now while garlic is a common ingredient in every kitchen, in the ancient times, it was highly valued for its numerous health benefiting properties, which are still followed in many cultures today. Our ancestors have used it as a bug-repellant, Medieval Europe against plague and the Egyptians would even bury it along with their dead! 

Some benefits of garlic are credited to the presence of the sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic, due to which it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Some startling claims mention that it may help prevent some forms of cancer too. The health benefits of garlic are aplenty. 

Garlic is a part of the onion family and the 'bulb' of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the 'cloves'. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavour as well as medicinal properties.

Every 100 grams of garlic will serve you with close to 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. 

Scientists found that each clove of garlic has an astonishing 400 plus beneficial compounds found within the oil. As I said before one of the key compounds is called allicin.

Each bulb of garlic contains an enzyme called allinase which combines with allinin found in the garlic bulb to form the active compound allicin, which has health enhancing properties and gives garlic its distinctive odour even in some supplements. 

Odourless garlic supplements are generally considered to be inferior since most have low allicin content.

Now recently there has been a rise in popularity of Black Garlic. White Garlic becomes Black Garlic following a month-long fermentation process under strictly controlled heat and humidity. This very specific process results is a soft, jelly-like texture that is free from odour and has a taste similar to figs.

From a nutritional point of view, Black Garlic has a similar content of allicin, the active ingredient in White Garlic that imparts its benefits, but without the odour. Additionally, Black Garlic is rich in amino acids and has almost double the amount of antioxidants when compared to White Garlic.

Black Garlic  you see also contains an additional very specific compound called S-Allycysteine in very high concentrations, compared to White Garlic which is water soluble and thus absorbed easily within the body. 

Now S-Allylcysteine has been shown to assist with the absorption of allicin. This makes Black Garlic much more effective than White Garlic for all the benefits mentioned above and additionally it is well tolerated by the digestive system so the chance of gastric distress is completely minimised.

Now talking of gastric distress young windy Sam was with me for this session and I'm glad we were outside. Obviously his dinner settled nicely in his stomach till he was active and then all hell broke loose. For this short session we headed to a club water where he'd try and winkle out some small fish to entertain a budding young fisherman.

Now 5 years in to his angling pursuits I've drilled in to Sam about caring for the environment, picking up his litter, looking for animals in distress that sort of thing and yet the same cannot be said for other anglers sadly. A match had finished earlier in the day and one of the pegs we looked at line was littered all over the staging. Casters and groundbait all over the shop, clearly the lazy angler couldn't be bothered clearing up after himself having probably doing rubbish in the match.

Now without me prompting Sam he took it upon himself to pick the discarded line up which I was proud of him for doing, but then disgusted that a fellow angler if you could call him that spoils it for others that frequent the same stretch. One of the bailiffs was patrolling so hopefully feedback on what we'd found but then again with an angler that is willing to do that it will probably fall in deaf ears.

With that out the way we fished a couple of swims for a couple of hours and managed to catch some small dace, gudgeon and roach. 

The Avon is back to being very low and gin clear again and fishing is tough for the bigger fish, but there are still some bites to be had to entertain those that like getting bites. Some dips of the landing net in close quarters not only landed some minnows but roach fry too, still very entertaining for a little'un despite his angling prowess. 


  1. Surely if it was a match they'll know who was in that peg and at least a word in his shell like that he is on a yellow card is justified?



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