There are hundreds of Italian proverbs dealing with garlic. Some deal with the puzzo or stench of garlic: others sing its praises. My favourite is L’aglio è il farmacista del contadino –Garlic is the peasant’s pharmacist.
The benefits of garlic:
- Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, high blood pressure,TB, liver disorders, rheumatism, diabetes and fevers.
- According to many studies, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and blood pressure.
- garlic is said to lower levels of osteoarthritis in women.
The list of health benefits goes on and on. I add garlic to nearly every savoury dish I cook, but raw garlic has greater health properties. Add raw garlic to guacamole, babaganouge, humous, salsa verde, aioli, garlic butter, salad dressings. Slice it raw onto pizza, fish, tomatoes. Or make some bruschetta.
To celebrate this season’s garlic crop, dried and carefully plaited by Alessandra, I am making some simple bruschetta, using the best sourdough bread from St Andrews Bakery and a premium Cobram extra virgin olive oil. Slice the bread thickly, brush with Extra Virgin olive oil, and grill in a ridged pan, pressing down to get nice charred marks. Remove, rub with lots of galic, and add more oil.
“Non piangere” – disse l’aglio alla cipolla. “Non fiatare” – rispose la cipolla.
If everyone ate garlic, no one would detect the smell on others. However , chewing parsley leaves or eating yoghurt will neutralise the smell.
Are you a garlic devotee?