Updated: May 6
By Rachel Monaghan.
Garlic, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘stinking rose’ due to its strong smell, originated in Asia more than 7000 years ago and has since been incorporated into many different cuisines.
Love it or hate it, Monday the 19th April is National Garlic Day!
From fragrant stir fry’s to creamy pastas to warming French onion soup, garlic, which is part of the Allium (onion) family like leeks and shallots, is very versatile and used in a lot of dishes in the modern kitchen.
Here are some sites that have Recipes for Garlic-lovers:
As well as being used in the kitchen, Garlic has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. Hippocrates, who is often described as the father of Western medicine, used to prescribe garlic to his patients in order to treat many different medical conditions. Since the use by the ancients was widely documented, modern science did research into garlic and confirmed multiple different positive health benefits are attributed to garlic.
For example, it was found to contain many vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, manganese and selenium and many modern studies have confirmed that garlic has antibiotic properties too!
(note: careful not to over-eat or indulge to much as well)
Garlic has also been associated with myths and legends over the years. The most famous Western association in the modern age with garlic in folklore is its ability to ward off or repel vampires. It’s abilities to keep monsters at bay also extends to witches, demons and even werewolves.
However, garlic has been at the centre of many spiritual and religious stories and traditions all over the world. In a Korean myth, a bear that ate 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort for 100 days turned into a woman. Another example of garlic’s prominence is shown in places that celebrate Nowruz (Persian calendar New Year) like Iran where garlic is a key ingredient in the Seven-Seen table which is a traditional New Year’s Display.
Garlic has clearly been very prominent in multiple different aspects of culture all round the world for a very long time. So why not try out a new garlic recipe this National Garlic Day to celebrate the very versatile plant!