This finely pulverized dust packs an allium wallop, but with less of a sulfuric bite than freshly chopped cloves, so it’s an excellent option for adding a garlic note without offending eaters who aren’t huge fans. You can tell any fresh garlic snobs out there that the people of West China were preserving garlic centuries ago—though it wasn’t long before the root, which grows easily in most places, spread around the world. Another benefit of the powder? It’s easily dissolved into light-colored dishes like vegetable mashes.
In 2009, Meherwan Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant – Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. Since then, the self-taught chef has opened four restaurants, one bar, and now, Spicewalla. With four James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he’s finally confident this might just be working out. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Saveur, USA Today, and Bon Appétit, among others.