What Is a Pod of Garlic?

Jon Bunting/CC-BY 2.0

A pod of garlic is simply the compound bulb containing the cloves. It is the part of the plant most commonly used in medicine and cooking.

Like the bulbs of many other plants, garlic pods are grown underground, with the above ground part growing up to 2 feet or higher.

Most pods or bulbs consist of between four and 20 individual cloves, depending on the type of garlic. Thai garlic, for instance, contains smaller and more numerous cloves than many Western varieties.

To prepare garlic for use, the cloves are removed from the pod, skinned (if necessary) and often crushed. Garlic can be used fresh, dried, freeze-dried, made into oil or subjected to various processes to extract active chemicals, including allicin and several sulfur-containing compounds.