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Issue No 98
Spring 2004 
page 21

Glorious Garlic
Extremely beautiful, exquisitely stinky, this ancient bulb boasts a long history of versatile (and sometimes curious) uses.

Helene Pizzi

Illustrations by:
Peggy Turchette

 
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    No matter how swiftly our fastlane world renders new innovations obsolete, some things never change. We’ll always hold onto a few precious, old-and-true, simple, helpful gifts—treasures Mother Nature recognized long ago as vital to our wellbeing. Topping this list of treasures we find garlic, the flavorful bulb cultivated the world over.

    A perennial herb probably native to central Asia, garlic takes its English name from the Old English word garleac. Note the spelling: Gar(“spear”) refers to its spearlike leaves, and leac, also lick, meaning “leek” or the sometimes used lac, meaning “plant.” The Spanish call it ajo, the Italians named it aglio, in German it’s Knoblauch, and the French say ail. The Celts called it al, or “caustic” for its strong, stingy flavor. Its botanical name is Allium sativum.

 
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