April 19th Is National Garlic Day

April 12th, 2012 by Craig Mullins

I recently had some issues with food allergies and for a day or two thought I might be allergic to garlic. Those few days that I stayed away from it were some of the hardest in my life. Not only do I love garlic and enjoy eating it, but garlic is found in many items on the grocery store shelves as well as several cooking recipes (scroll down for some examples). It was pretty hard to avoid, but I did a good job. It turns out that I am not allergic to garlic, thankfully, so in celebration of the news and National Garlic Day, I say hooray for garlic!!

National Garlic Day always falls on April 19th. The day honors the mighty garlic and promotes its many uses. Celebrate the day by using garlic in every meal – even your snacks! You might have to brush your teeth a few times before you go to bed, but it will be totally worth it! Garlic truly is that great.

Did you know?…..

– Garlic is a member of the onion family.
– Garlic is an herb and a vegetable.
– Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
– People who have a fear of garlic are suffering from Alliumphobia.
– You can combat the effects of garlic on your breath by drinking some milk or eating a little parsley.
– The pungent flavor of garlic is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when its cells are broken, and is most intense just after mincing.
– You can remove the garlic smell from your hands by running them under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
– Garlic can be used to infuse vodka and as a cocktail ingredient.
– During ancient Greek and Roman weddings the brides carried bouquets of garlic and other herbs instead of flowers.

april 19 is national garlic day

With a history dating back 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia and has long been a staple in Mediterranean cooking; commonly used as a seasoning in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Currently, the world’s biggest producer of garlic is China, followed by India, South Korea, Egypt, and Russia. In the United States, California is responsible for about 90% of the country’s garlic production.

Many people believe that garlic is a wonder drug of nature, with wide-reaching medicinal properties in both the prevention and treatment of several diseases. Garlic has been credited with lowering cholesterol levels, resisting the common cold, reversing high blood pressure, and overcoming fatigue. Research shows that the Phytochemicals in garlic provide protection against heart disease and cancer; specifically, colorectal and stomach cancers. Allicin, an antibiotic compound found in garlic, has been used to fight infections for centuries.

Fun Fact: In the Middle Ages, Europeans greatly feared the Black Death plague and often ate whole cloves of garlic in an effort to ward off the deadly disease.

Garlic has also been known to be used in the treatment of warts and acne, as well as toothaches.

Helpful Hint: If you have a sore throat and are able to withstand the taste, place a half clove of garlic inside each of your cheeks and suck on them, occasionally biting down to release the juices.

Garlic is high in vitamins A, B-1, and C; it’s protein rich, contains the essential minerals calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as 17 different amino acids.

Although garlic has the well-deserved reputation of causing bad breath and body odor (it’s even affectionately referred to as the ‘stinking rose’), garlic also has a long history of being an aphrodisiac. According to legend, Tibetan monks were forbidden from entering a monastery if they had eaten garlic because it was believed to arouse sexual desire.

Fun Fact: Egyptians believed garlic boosted one’s stamina so they fed it to the workers building the Great Pyramid of Giza.

national garlic day 2012

When shopping for garlic at your local market, be sure to choose dry bulbs that are firm, heavy, and tight. Store you garlic in a cool dry place like a kitchen drawer. If you’ve had your garlic for a while and it has started to sprout, fear not! It is still usable – it’s just lost a little of its flavor and health benefits. Do not keep whole cloves of garlic in the fridge; instead, peel the cloves and refrigerate them in a container with vinegar.

If you’d prefer to grow your own garlic, it’s easy to do in mild climates.

Helpful Hint: For gardens with an aphid problem, simply mix together some crushed garlic with water in a spray bottle and spray the affected leaves and blooms.

In honor of National Garlic Day, below are a few recipes to help you get started with your garlic celebration!

ROASTED GARLIC

What You’ll Need
4 cloves of garlic.
½ cup of chicken broth.
2 tablespoons of butter.
½ teaspoon of dried leaf thyme.
¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
¼ teaspoon of salt.

Directions
1. Remove the outer peel from the garlic.

2. Place the garlic cloves in a baking dish.

3. Dab each clove with butter.

4. Sprinkle the garlic cloves with thyme, pepper and salt.

5. Pour the chicken broth into the dish.

6. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for one hour, basting frequently.

7. Uncover the dish and bake at the same temperature for another 15 minutes.

PARMESAN ARTICHOKE DIP

What You’ll Need
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 cup artichoke hearts in water (14 oz can)
2 teaspoons garlic
1-8 ounce package cream cheese

Directions
1. Soften cream cheese, slice into cubes and blend with mayonnaise.

2. Add artichoke hearts and garlic, blend together.

3. Add half of the parmesan cheese and blend.

4. Spread evenly in a small casserole dish and sprinkle the other of parmesan cheese on top.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top.

GARLIC ICE CREAM

What You’ll Need
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped garlic
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
9 egg yolks

Directions
1. In a mixing bowl, blend cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

2. Put milk, garlic, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to boil and remove from heat.

3. Strain the scalded milk into the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly.

4. Return the combined mixture to the pan and stir continuously over moderate heat until it coats the back of a spoon. About 10 – 15 minutes.

5. Cool in an ice bath and freeze until firm.

Happy National Garlic Day! How will you be celebrating?

national garlic day recipes

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