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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Garlic Day

When it comes to tasty holidays, April 19 has something everyone will enjoy! Not only is it National Amaretto Day, it is also National Garlic Day!

A member of the onion family, Allium sativum has been used for thousands of years to flavor foods, ward off evil spirits and vampires and for medicinal purposes. Many believe garlic helps prevent heart disease, lowers blood pressure, fights cancer, and wards off the common cold and flu. Garlic can be eaten raw, cooked or baked or in capsule form.

Whether you enjoy it in a delicious dish, sautéed, toasted or roasted, folks have been enjoying garlic for centuries. In fact, the pungent herb dates back 6,000 years! Low in calories, it is estimated that the average adult consumes more than 2 pounds of garlic annually.

The Gilroy Foods plant in Gilroy California processes more garlic than any other garlic plant in the world. Gilroy hosts its annual Gilroy Garlic Festival each July. Besides great food and fabulous entertainment, the festival features a Great Garlic Cook-Off, amateur cooking competition, Gourmet Alley, three stages filled with all sorts of music, recipe and poster contests.

Did you know there is even a museum dedicated to garlic? La Maison de l’Ail, the House of Garlic, is located in the village of Saint-Clar, France. This unusual museum, located in an old winery, is free to the public and is open from June through October each year.

  • Besides tasting great, garlic is also believed to ward off all sorts of evil spirits and vampires.

  • The allicin in garlic is an antibiotic that helps fight bacteria and infections and helps keep colds and flu at bay.

  • Garlic may also reduce blood pressure and slow the development of atherosclerosis.

  • May be used to soothe toothaches.

  • If you love to cook with the "stinking rose" but don't like the lingering odor, wash your hands with soap and water and use a stainless steel object to get that stinky odor off your hands.

  • People who consume large doses of garlic may have fewer tick bites.

  • Tibetan monks were not allowed to eat garlic prior to entering the monasteries because garlic was believed to have aphrodisiac powers.

  • Garlic may also help protect against certain types of cancers.


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