Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Eleven!

How would you classify garlic (Allium sativum)?  Herb?  Spice?  Vegetable?  What we would call garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium.  In addition to its ability to repel vampires (and mosquitoes) and cure the plague, garlic has been lauded for its antibiotic and antioxidant properties for centuries and is widely know to be beneficial for a variety of ailments.  Did you know that . . .

    • Garlic is believed to ward off heart disease, cancer, colds, and flu. The consumption of garlic lowers blood cholesterol levels. and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
    • It was even once used to treat acne, warts, and toothaches.
    • The psychological term for fear of garlic is alliumphobia.
    • The origin of National Garlic Day is unknown and it is not recorded in congressional or presidential proclamations.
    • Garlic is said to fight off evil spirits and keep vampires away.
    • If your garlic has sprouted, it is still usable although it has lost some of its flavor and health benefits.
    • The smell of garlic can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
    • Garlic is a member of the onion family which also includes leeks and shallots.
    • Its pungent flavor is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense just after mincing.
    • The majority of garlic (90%) grown in the United States comes from California (Gilroy, California is the “Garlic Capital of the World”).
    • If your rose garden is being attacked by aphids, an excellent home remedy to get rid of them is to spritz the leaves and blooms with a mixture of crushed garlic and water.
    • When picking out garlic at the grocery store, choose firm, tight, heavy dry bulbs.
    • Garlic has been used to infuse vodka and as an ingredient to make cocktails.
    • At ancient Greek and Roman marriages the brides carried bouquets of garlic and other herbs instead of flowers.

Here’s a link to some more garlic superstitions, folklore, and facts.


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