Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating at least as far back as when the Giza pyramids were built. Garlic is still grown in Egypt, but the Syrian variety is the kind most esteemed now.
Garlic is mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud. Hippocrates, Galen, Pliny the Elder, and Dioscorides all mention the use of garlic for many conditions, including parasites, respiratory problems, poor digestion, and low energy. Its use in China was first mentioned in AD 510.
It was consumed by ancient Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors, and rural classes (Virgil, Ecologues ii. 11), and, according to Pliny the Elder (Natural History xix. 32), by the African peasantry. Galen eulogizes it as the "rustic's theriac" (cure-all) (see F. Adams' Paulus Aegineta, p. 99), and Alexander Neckam, a writer of the 12th century (see Wright's edition of his works, p. 473, 1863), recommends it as a palliative for the heat of the sun in field labor.
In the account of Korea's establishment as a nation, gods were said to have given mortal women with bear and tiger temperaments an immortal's black garlic before mating with them. This is a genetically unique, six-clove garlic that was to have given the women supernatural powers and immortality. This garlic is still cultivated in a few mountain areas today.
Garlic was rare in traditional English cuisine (though it is said to have been grown in England before 1548) and has been a much more common ingredient in Mediterranean Europe. Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on the piles of stones at crossroads, as a supper for Hecate (Theophrastus, Characters, The Superstitious Man). A similar practice of hanging garlic, lemon and red chilli at the door or in a shop to ward off potential evil, is still very common in India. According to Pliny, garlic and onions were invoked as deities by the Egyptians at the taking of oaths. (Pliny also stated garlic demagnetizes lodestones, which is not factual.) The inhabitants of Pelusium, in lower Egypt (who worshiped the onion), are said to have had an aversion to both onions and garlic as food.
To prevent the plant from running to leaf, Pliny (N.H. xix. 34) advised bending the stalk downward and covering with earth; seeding, he observes, may be prevented by twisting the stalk (by "seeding", he most likely meant the development of small, less potent bulbs).
Garlic is used to prevent certain types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers. In fact, countries where garlic is consumed in higher amounts, because of traditional cuisine, have been found to have a lower prevalence of cancer
I was tagged by Becky from http://bakingandcookingataleoftwoloves.blogspot.com for the 7 links game. There are so many wonderful bloggers, it was hard for me to pick. I'm passing the 7 links game to my fans. Thanks, Becky for thinking about me.
Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon garlic herb seasoning
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons chicken stock, more if desired
In a large pot, cover potatoes with water, bring to boil, add salt to water. Cook potatoes until fork tender. Drain well. Return potatoes to pot, add salt, pepper, garlic herb seasoning, butter and chicken stock. Mash potatoes using a potato masher. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle pepper over top of potatoes. Enjoy!