FUN FACTS

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[Gilroy is] the only town I know where you can marinate a steak by hanging it on the clothesline

Will Rogers

FUN FACTS

  • Garlic has been part of the human diet for more than 9,000 years. Archaeological evidence shows its use in sites dating back to at least 7,000 BCE.
  • The culinary garlic we eat today originated in Central Asia. The word “garlic” however, comes from the Anglo-Saxon words “gar” (spear) and “lac” (plant), referring to the long, pointed shape of fresh garlic leaves.
  • The city of Chicago derives its name from the native American Miami and Potawotami word for a local wild garlic plant, “chicagoua.”
  • In the United States, National Garlic Day is celebrated every year on April 19.
  • Garlic, like onions, leeks and shallots, is a member of the Lily family.
  • California is the largest garlic-growing state in the US, producing 90% of the nation’s total garlic crop.
  • Ancient Egyptians included garlic in the diet of their pyramid-building laborers as a boost to strength and endurance. King Tutankhamen (1500 BCE) was buried with garlic cloves. Why they were placed in his tomb is unknown. Perhaps for religious reasons, perhaps as sustenance for the after-life journey, perhaps carelessly dropped.
  • If vampires, werewolves and other demons are a concern, reach for the garlic. To protect yourself against them, hang garlic cloves or braids at doors and windows, or wear a garlic necklace.
  • The world record for garlic consumption is held by Deepak Sharma Bajagain of Nepal who, in December 2009, consumed 34 cloves in one minute. This same gentleman once held the world record for marathon reading aloud (113 hours and 15 minutes), but that record has since been broken.
  • Garlic’s antibiotic properties are touted in folk medicine traditions around the world. During World War Two, for example, garlic (“Russian penicillin”) was used by Russian soldiers when penicillin was not available.
  • Garlic is good for you. Garlic cloves are rich in amino acids, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and Vitamin C.
  • Herbal medicine practitioners use garlic to ward off heart disease, cancer, colds and flu. Garlic has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
  • In your garden, garlic is an effective remedy for aphid infestation. Simply crush garlic into water and spray the mixture on plants and flowers.
  • Garlic is the best!