March 23, 1999

GarlicBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Garlic: It's a whole lot more than bad breath.

It's a phenomenon, a trend - a movement, for goodness sake.

There are bushels of garlic sites on the Internet, sites with information about the herb's health benefits, sites with recipes, online garlic conversations, lists of growers, sellers, processors of garlic products, festivals, links to cookbooks and links to garlic restaurants, including The Stinking Rose in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Garlic Page Web site has garlic quotes - including one from Shakespeare. There even is a garlic CD - "Bulbous Garlic Blues" by Ladd Big Band McIntosh, and you can send a free "Stink-o-Gram" from the Garlic Festival Foods company Web site.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Yes, there is state-of-the-art information available electronically. But garlic has been around for a long, long time. It dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome where it was used to treat disease and to maintain health, according to information on the Web site of the Washington, D.C.-based International Food and Information Council. Health benefits are being confirmed in present-day scientific research.


Results of a California study announced in fall 1998 indicate that several garlic compounds can suppress harmful effects of oxidation of LDL - the "bad" - cholesterol, recognized as responsible for heart attacks and strokes, according to IFIC.

Garlic was thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay, and it helps to prevent colds and coughs, according to The Garlic Information Centre Web Site.

Garlic may be good for you, but you probably don't think about that too much when you're eating a chunk of warm garlic bread or a salad with your favorite garlicky dressing.

Shrimp scampi is the favorite of Pat West, aka "Pat the Garlic Lady." West works for the Gilroy, Calif.-based Garlic Festival Foods, traveling to arts and crafts shows all over the United States in her 1969 Volkswagen bus painted with pictures of garlic. The company offers a wide array of garlic products, including pickled garlic and the garlic "garni" West uses in her scampi.

Cut garlic greens if they are available in your garden, a leaf or two from each plant won't hurt it and can be chopped finely and sauted for cooking, says Cass Peterson, who grows garlic - organically - on her 65-acre Flickerville Mountain Farm and Groundhog Ranch in Dott, near Warfordsburg, Pa. She sells produce at farmers' markets in Takoma Park and Riverdale Park, Md., and to restaurants in Washington, D.C.

The young greens also can be used for garlic pesto, although the best garlic pesto is made from the flower stalks, which appear in June, according to Peterson.


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