Were one to write the authoritative history of garlic, it would greatly parallel such a history of mankind itself, as numerous artifacts of recorded history refer at least on occasion to garlic. In fact, it is strongly believed that garlic was there to engage man's senses and comfort his physical needs long before recorded history, as strong evidence predating the invention of writing during the fourth millennium B.C.E. has been found, demonstrating that garlic was grown in ancient India, China and Egypt. Further proof exists that garlic was one of the earliest known plants to be cultivated. Historical records reveal garlic bulbs in the tomb of Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamun, that among the food provided to the slave laborers who constructed the Egyptian Pyramids was garlic as a regular part of their diets, that garlic is mentioned in Islamic, Roman and Greek literature, that references to garlic are found in both the old testament and in the Talmud, and references to the medicinal value of garlic have been found in the 400 B.C.E. teachings of the father of western medicine, Hippocrates.
Hippocrates saw garlic as part of the cure for ailments such as lung problems, which was one of various maladies for which he prescribed the eating of large quantities of raw garlic, to be washed down with wine.
While Tutankhamun most likely never got to enjoy the flavoring of garlic in the afterlife, living people over many centuries have done so, using the "stinking rose" to add to the delight of existing dishes, in the creation of new recipes crafted in part specifically to highlight garlic's unique taste, and as a centuries-old parallel, in the world of medicine as a healing force and preventative for a wide array of disorders. … read more
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