Saturday, March 12, 2011

g is for garlic

The air of Provence was particularly perfumed by the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb.
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) playwright and novelist

the inspiration for today's word goes to em, while glancing through alton brown's cookbook I'm just here for the food she came across this garlic tidbit:
Garlic wasn't grown commercially in the United States until World War I, when some farmers in California...(responded) to a government call for garlic to ship to troops overseas for use as an antiseptic. (p.126)
even though garlic has been used throughout history for it's culinary and medicinal purposes, it's took it's use as antiseptic to stimulate wide-scale cultivation here in the u.s.

I grew up in a family which praised garlic's culinary and medicinal properties. although not overwhelming, garlic was a staple in cooking by both sides of my family. both grandmothers made the best dill pickles; although both used different recipes both included whole cloves of garlic - the pickles were great, but as a kid my favorite part was go through the jars and grab the pickled garlic cloves and pop them into my mouth like gumdrops.

grandpap yanoshik claimed that the secret to a long and healthy life was garlic. he learned this from his father, my great grandfather, who started each day with a clove of raw garlic - now that's an interesting take on a one-a-day vitamin!

by 1920 gilroy, california established itself as the nation's garlic capital - according to brown, more than a million pounds are garlic are processed in gilroy each day! since 1979 gilroy has hosted a three day long garlic festival the last weekend of july. it would be great to check the gilroy's festival but if I don't get out there, I have no worries, cleveland now has it's own grassroots garlic festival! 2010 was the first year, the dates have already been chosen for 2011 - september 10 and 11 - I've already marked my calendar - I'm not missing the fun this year!

did you know that the irrational fear of garlic is alliumphobia?

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.
Alice May Brock (b. 1941) artist, cook & former restaurateur

les blank's 1980 graphic celluloid ode garlic is as good as ten mothers.

photo: garlic market somewhere in provence, france october 2005


tony said...

A three day long garlic festival ....Ummmm!
In my ignorance...I never realised it's antiseptic property.Maybe this is one reason for it not being loved by vampires? Hey! I just found this.

tut-tut said...

why, i look at that photo every day! garlicky goodness to you, Mouse

Roy said...

I said it before on another blog, and I'll say it again here: Food cooked without garlic has no soul, and food cooked without fresh ginger has no joie de vivre!

Betty Carlson said...

The photo may be from Provence, but did you know that this particular type of garlic, l'ail rose de Lautrec, is from the Tarn department in the Midi-Pyrenées region?

Lautrec is not far from Albi, where we used to live.

This particular variety of garlic is unionized, in a way: protected by the " Syndicat de Défense du Label Rouge et de l'IGP Ail Rose de Lautrec!"

whalechaser said...

I LOVE garlic and I loved your post. Thanks for being here.

karen said...

Garlic...wards off evil witches I've heard! ha! And I love almost everything. Your Grandpap got it's the key to health. My dad's family comes from the south of Italy and every meal included garlic. Dad's now 78 and still works long hours...every day of the week, and he's healthy as an ox! I've resorted to pill form now...the tummy can't take as much of it as it used too. My sister was growing it some time back and found some great varieties from here:
In case anyone is interested in growing their own.

Watson said...

Loved this post! Can smell the aroma.
My garlic is starting to pop out of the earth! I like the stems that curl about - that's the first use of the plant. I use some of it to make a spread.

Randy Noseworthy said...

I had make some roasted Brussel sprouts with garlic and butter.. Mmmm!