Last night we went to one of my favorite places for Dinner, La Bruschetta, in Felton, Ca. The food served is always fresh and organic. Tomatoes really taste like tomatoes and the fresh herbs are amazing. I love almost everything on the menu and just about everything on the menu is served up with garlic! Give me garlic with anything (well, maybe excluding breakfast cereal). Last night it was salmon ... with garlic, of course! I must say that the whole eating adventure there begins when they bring you fresh baked bread -- and GARLIC! I usually skip the bread and fight my husband for the bowl of garlic. Usually they have to bring us refills. NO bread. Just the garlic. Garlic is one of those things that you either love or hate. But I have never met anyone who did not like garlic. Our preoccupation with garlic is rather obsessive; we use it for health, taste and even create festivals around it. Take, for instance, The Gilroy Garlic Festival, which should be happening here locally very soon.
My husband loves to use garlic whenever he cooks. He puts it in everything: Salad dressings, marinades, sauces. Sometimes he goes a little overboard even for me. Case in point: One day he gave me leftovers for lunch. It was a great pasta with garlic sauce. I wolfed it down in no time flat. But apparantly the garlic was so strong that when I attended a 1:00 pm meeting, after having eaten my lunch, the entire room knew it! I opened my mouth to provide an answer and one of my friends down at the other end of the table could not resist the golden opportunity to yell, "whoa ... what did YOU have for lunch?" quickly sliding back from the 10 foot table! Needless to say it was both funny and embarrassing. Not one person in the meeting could tell that I had already brushed my teeth AND had downed several breath mints. Lesson learned: I'm careful where and with whom I'll eat my husband's leftovers. But it does help that I changed to a new job with a new company where my colleagues don't yet know of my "garlicky" reputation (of course the cat's out of the bag now).
And as long as I'm confessing, I may as well confess that I did try to grow garlic, in which I was successful. It grew, I plucked and I ate ... or at least I tried to. However, having been used to the store bought variety, the thought had not occurred to me that garlic would be much stronger if you pluck it 5 minutes before you cook it. The soup was garlicky, alright ... but too much so to eat it. Even the dog wasn't willing to try it and it was common knowledge that she'd eat anything!
Garlic, probably more than any other herb (a bulb of a member of the lily family) has been cited as curing everything from the common cold and flu to fighting off hair loss and Vampires. The stronger the garlic the more medicinal value it holds.
I did some web searches on garlic and here's what I found:
Q: How much garlic is too much?
A: There is no such thing as too much garlic (of course the person who answered this question has never eaten my husband's italian sauce!). Although the answer did mention if friends and family refuse to talk to you that you might be eating too much! The answer made no mention of work colleagues and after-lunch meetings, for which I presume it may be possible to eat too much garlic!
Q: When I eat garlic, my family tells me that I sweat it out of my pores. Is that true?
A: Fortunately for you, this is true. Unlike many other spices, garlic will come out of your pores when eaten. This is one of the reasons garlic works as a mosquito and vampire repellant. So, eat up and feel safe at night. I have to admit that because I eat so much garlic, I do tend to repel mosquitos (and some work colleagues).
I had to wonder why garlic supposedly protects us from vampires. I mean, has anyone ever really tested this? The theory about the whole vampire thing really has to do with the myth of garlic as a healing aid, combined with the fact that it helps repel mosquitos, which are blood-sucking creatures just like vampires.
Apparantly, garlic does more than just protect you against mosquitos and vampires. Garlic can also kill Staphlococcus bacteria often involved in acne and eczema. All you need to do is take 3 cloves of garlic a day, crushed up and filtered through gauze and mixed with a standard aqueous cream! And I suppose it you don't rid yourself of the acne, at least you'll smell good! There's even a garlic remedy for hair loss: An hour before bedtime, slice open a clove of garlic and rub it on the hair loss area, wait for an hour then massage the scalp with olive oil, put on a cap, go to bed, shampoo your hair in the morning, repeat for a few weeks, and hopefully hair will stop falling out and regrowth will appear. I suppose with this remedy you'd better hope that it works in 3 days, else you'll probably be guaranteed of sleeping solo or midnight trips to the fridge because you're dreaming of garlic and Italian food!
And, last but not least, I read that in Indiana it is illegal to ride public transportation for at least 30 minutes after eating garlic. I don't personally know anyone in Indiana who can vouch for this law. As silly as this sounds I have to wonder if there isn't an equally silly law that reads: "thou shalt not attend any meetings with coworkers 30 minutes after eating garlic." Which might actually be a good rule to break, depending on how open you want to keep yor schedule!