“Stop and smell the garlic! That’s all you have to do.” William Shatner
American foodies snubbed garlic until the 1940’s
Egyptians worshiped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was so highly-prized, it was even used as currency. Folklore holds that garlic repelled vampires, protected against the Evil Eye, and warded off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens. And let us not forget to mention the alleged aphrodisiacal powers of garlic which have been extolled through the ages.
Surprisingly, garlic was frowned upon by foodie snobs in the United States until the first quarter of the twentieth century, being found almost exclusively in ethnic dishes in working-class neighborhoods. But, by 1940, America had embraced garlic, finally recognizing its value as not only a minor seasoning, but as a major ingredient in recipes.
Quaint diner slang of the 1920’s referred to garlic asBronx vanilla, halitosis, and Italian perfume. Today, Americans alone consume more than 250 million pounds of garlic annually. Read more…
Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when the Egyptian pyramids were built. In early 18th-century France, gravediggers drank crushed garlic in wine believing it would protect them from the plague that killed many people in Europe. During both World Wars I and II, soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene. Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and may lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to boost the immune system. Garlic may also help protect against cancer.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy free radicals — particles that can damage cell membranes and DNA, and may contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.
The conditions for which garlic is showing the most promise include: Read more…