The flavor of raw garlic is characteristically pungent and spicy. However, the strong flavor and odor of garlic mellows when it is cooked or fried.
The distinct pungent flavor of the garlic plant comes from the bulb that consists of multiple cloves. Although the leaves of the garlic plant are also edible, the flavor is weaker than the bulb. When the skin of the garlic bulb is unbroken, the plant has little smell. However, when the bulb is either chopped or minced, it releases a strong odor because of its sulfur compounds. This is a trait usual of the onion family.
The strong flavor of garlic is used either as a seasoning or a condiment in cuisine across the world, and is most commonly incorporated into the dishes fried instead of raw. Cooking the garlic diminishes the strong odor, allowing it to blend in with the dish.
Unfortunately the spicy flavor of garlic can make a person's breath smell strongly because of the reaction the plant has with bacteria in the mouth. To reduce the bad breath that can occur, drink milk when eating a dish that has garlic in it. Whole milk is more effective at minimizing the bad breath from garlic, as it has a higher concentration of fat compared to other types of milk.