NATIONAL GARLIC DAY
Each year on April 19th, National Garlic Day celebrates a vegetable also known as the stinking rose. The fragrant and potent root has been seasoning dishes for thousands of years.
This stinking rose is a member of the lily family. This family also includes the flavorful onions, leeks, and shallots we use in some of our favorite dishes. Garlic originated in Asia over 7,000 years ago, so it’s no surprise that cuisines worldwide incorporate it into favored recipes.
Garlic is quite versatile as illustrated by its many medicinal purposes. The mighty bulb is considered an herbal remedy for colds and may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Modern science has also proven garlic’s antibiotic properties.
Myth and superstition reek of garlic. The most familiar one suggests that garlic wards off vampires. This same theory seemed to work on witches, werewolves, demons and other such evils one might cross. Folklore also tells us garlic grew from satan’s left footprint when he left the Garden of Eden. Greek midwives used garlic to keep evil spirits away, and courage filled Roman soldiers who consumed the bulb.
Consider our dreams and garlic too. Our dreams often have meaning and dreaming of garlic is no different. To dream about garlic in the house suggests good luck and if the dream includes eating garlic (perhaps in a pesto sauce), there might be hidden secrets. Over 300 varieties of garlic grow around the world to dream about as well!
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL GARLIC DAY
- Celebrate the day by cooking a terrific meal with garlic.
- Attend one of the many garlic festivals around the world.
- Share your favorite recipes using garlic.
- Plant garlic in your garden so you can have the freshest bulbs possible.
- Share photos of delicious garlic dishes.
- Add some extra garlic to your pizza, pasta, or bread.
- Use #NationalGarlicDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL GARLIC DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this flavorful food holiday.
Q. Where is the garlic capital of the world?
A. Gilroy, California claims to be the Garlic Capital of the World. Will Rogers was once quoted as saying it is “…the only place in America where you can marinate a steak just by hanging it out on a clothesline.”
Q. How do I grow garlic?
A. Garlic grows best in cooler climates because it needs to experience several weeks of col and dormancy to create new bulbs. Purchase garlic bulbs from a nursery for best results and plant them in the fall to reap the benefits the following year. Plant in well-drained, rich soil. Different varieties grow better in different climates so speak with your local nursery to determine the best garlic bulbs for your area.
Q. How long will garlic last?
A. An unpeeled clove can last up to six weeks or longer if stored in a cool, dry, dark space.
Q. Can I freeze garlic?
A. Yes. Nearly every form of garlic from the whole bulb to minced garlic can be frozen. Seal in an air-tight, freezer-safe container. For minced garlic, divide into teaspoon-sized portions and freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag.