My, oh, my! What a strange food garlic is! Did you know that it originated in Asia but its name comes Anglo-Saxon? That’s strange but not really strange enough! In this article on garlic fun facts, we are going to look into 30 really fun facts about this amazing food that nature has to offer to whole of humanity (and some animals too)! So, let’s begin…
Garlic Fun Facts: 1-5
1. Did you know that King James Bible mentions garlic only once in the Book of Numbers 11:5?
2. There are some people who are really afraid of garlic. This is basically a phobia and there is a technical term for it. It is called ‘Alliumphobia’.
3. Did you know that brides in ancient Greece didn’t carry flower bouquets? Well, you guess it almost right! Their bouquets consisted of garlic but not just garlic! The bouquets also had other herbs!
4. ‘Chicagaoua’ is a Native American word for a variant of wild garlic. It is this word from where the name Chicago has been derived!
5. Keep you dogs and cats away from garlic. It is toxic for them!
Garlic Fun Facts: 6-10
6. Garlic originated in Central Asia however, its name is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words. Those two words are ‘Gar’ and ‘Lac’. Gar means spear and Lac means plant. These two words are believed to be the source of garlic’s name simply because its leaves are spear-shaped.
7. At around 46 billion pounds a year, China leads the world in terms of garlic production. 2/3rd of world’s garlic is produced in China!
8. In USA, there is something called National Garlic Day. It is celebrated on April 19 every year.
9. Don’t like the garlic smell on your fingers? There’s a simple trick to get rid of it. Place your fingers underneath cold running water, grab a stainless steel object and rub your fingers with it. Voila! The smell will be gone.
10. In whole of USA, California is the largest garlic producer, accounting for 90% of total garlic production of America.
Garlic Fun Facts: 11-15
11. Leeches have an uncanny attraction towards garlic. A hand smothered with garlic will attract leeches in just 14.9 seconds while a hand not covered in garlic will attract those suckers in 44.9 seconds!
12. It is believed that in ancient Egypt, the builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza were given garlic to eat so that they can get endurance and strength.
13. Not just that! Greek Soldiers and even Olympic athletes were given good amounts of garlic before a battle or a match respectively so that their performances improved.
14. Garlic cloves’ sticky juice is a surprisingly good bonding agent for delicate objects such as glass. However, it works well only for smaller jobs.
15. Heard of Gojoseon? It was an ancient Korean Kingdom. Gojoseon had a foundation myth which stated that a bear can be easily transformed into a woman by feeding it with a Korean mugwort bundle and 20 garlic cloves straight for 100 days!
Garlic Fun Facts: 16-20
16. In Central European folklore, garlic used to be a power agent for warding off vampires, werewolves and demons. How to use? Rub garlic on keyholes and chimneys or hang garlic cloves on windows or simply wear a garlic necklace (or wear it in some other ornamental design)!
17. In those countries where Nowruz is celebrated, garlic is one of the Seven-Seen table items. Nowruz is New Year in Persian calendar and Seven-Seen is a traditional display during New Year.
18. There are some Buddhist traditions in which garlic (plus another 5 pungent spices) is thought to be stimulants of aggressive behavior and sexual desires and hence, eating garlic is forbidden. Consumption of the other 5 pungent spices is also forbidden.
19. Muslims are not allowed to go to mosques right after eating garlic. This law is based on several hadith.
20. In Hinduism, garlic is considered to warm up one’s body and also stimulate it. It is because of this, many devout Hindus avoid using garlic and even onion (related to garlic) in preparation of food.
Garlic Fun Facts: 21-25
21. Nepal’s Deepak Sharma Bajagain holds the world record of eating most number of garlic cloves in a single minute. He at 34 cloves. He achieved the record in 2009 on December 1.
22. In the book ‘Dracula’ authored by Bram Stoker, garlic has been mentioned 21 times. In all works of Shakespeare taken together, garlic has been mentioned only 4 times!
23. During WWII, garlic was given a nickname. Can you guess it? Okay, here is the name: “Russian Penicillin”.
24. Where did the name “Russian Penicillin” come from? During WWII, Russian soldiers ran out of penicillin and they literally started using crushed garlic in place of the medicine. That practice earned garlic its moniker.
25. Cultivation of garlic started some 4,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and first herbs to be cultivated by humans.
Garlic Fun Facts: 26-30
26. As a food flavoring agent, the use of garlic dates as far back as 7,000 BCE. Archaeological findings reveal that it was pretty much in use during the Neolithic times.
27. Did you know that garlic is consider both a vegetable and a herb?
28. In Stockholm, Sweden, there is a restaurant called ‘Garlic and Shots’. Specialty of the restaurant? Everything you find on the menu has garlic as an ingredient and that includes even the desserts! Yes, they offer garlic ice cream and garlic cheesecake.
29. Your rose garden has an aphid infestation? Here is a quick remedy: “crush a few cloves of garlic, mix it with water and spray on the plants and flower”. That’s all! Infestation will be gone!