The history of garlic: A story of death and flavor…
In the Past
The magical history of garlic is extraordinary. Garlic has saved lives and prevented illness, even the plague!
As you know the bubonic plague killed many people in between the 11th to 17th centuries. The doctors and medicine men tried to cure or prevent this disease from spreading, but it was a losing game.
Until Four Thieves Vinegar.
The legend has a few different versions to it. The first, it is said that there were four thieves that went around robbing the dead without any care of catching the plague. When caught they revealed that they had used a concoction of garlic, herbs, and vinegar to keep from catching the disease. Another is that there were four thieves that were charged to bury the bodies of those that had been taken by the plague, and this mixture was given them as an experiment to prevent the disease from spreading. And it worked. At least that is what the story reports.
At the Table
The wonderful and potent ingredient made its way to the table a lot earlier than most herbs because its very versatile use and pairing with other foods. Some might even say that garlic is one of the more popular ingredients in the culinary world.
I even believe it is one of the few vegetables that had a club named after it. The Stinking Rose Club, although the club didn’t last very long the name stuck. A restaurant was opened in 1991, called the Stinking Rose in San Francisco and then another in Beverly Hills in 1995. Each menu item features garlic, almost to an extreme, with garlic ice cream. The founder and owner of the Stinking Rose says, “We season our garlic with food. ”
This is one of the first ways I had garlic and I fell beneath its spell. I hope you enjoyed the fascinating history of garlic.