Hello Garlic enthusiasts!
Garlic is a way of life, so much so that it has been used by many cultures for thousands of years. It is, as you may know one of the oldest horticultural crops in history. The list of cultures goes on and on but here are some particularly interesting uses of garlic throughout historical cultures:
Tracing back nearly 5000 years ago, Egyptians relied on the properties of garlic in order for workers and slaves, building the great pyramids, to increase their strength and stamina, all while keeping them immune from disease. The Egyptians even used garlic to hide secret affairs. Unfaithful husbands would chew on a clove to disguise any scent left by their mistresses. Talk about a cover up!
Ancient Indians sought out garlic for medicinal purposes however at the same time deemed it as an aphrodisiac. Due to its believed properties, monks steered clear due to its ability to arise passions. The Vikings and Ancient Romans took doses of garlic for medicinal purposes as well.
During the time of the Ancient Greeks, garlic was known to be a plant of the common folk. The upper class wouldn’t dare to eat a clove at the risk of smelling like the lower class. However it was mentioned in Homer’s famous Odyssey and was even mentioned in Greek mythology.
Today garlic isn’t avoided as it was in some cultures a long time ago. In modern times, countries have embraced the stink! And with good reason too, they were definitely missing out before. Currently Mediterranean countries use it in aioli (a mixture of eggs, olive oil and garlic). The Russian wet their palettes with pickled garlic shoots as an appetizer. Italians keep their kitchens stocked with garlic for pastas, bread, bruschetta and more. And the Chinese don’t dare to skip the garlic in their ginger stir-fries.
Do you know any interesting facts about the uses of Garlic in different countries? What does your family do?