The word garlic comes from the Old English, garleac, meaning spear leek, or plant, describing the shape of its leaves. The first written mention of garlic shows that it was used for medicinal purposes by the Sumerians in the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It originated in Central Asia and has a long history of use in medicine, although it was not used in cooking by some Hindus and Buddhists. The ancient Egyptians revered garlic, but did not eat it, although they fed it to their slaves. Clay models of it were found in Tutankhamen’s tomb, and pictures of it were discovered in the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The ancient Egyptians used it for curing such things as lethargy, heart disease and tumours. An Egyptian papyrus dating back to 1500 BC recommends it as a cure for 22 ailments.
There is a legend from the Muslim world which tells us that when Satan left the Garden of Eden after the fall of man, garlic sprang up from where he had placed his left foot, while the onion appeared from the spot in which he had placed his right foot.
In ancient Greece garlic was known as a Theriac, or cure-all. It was used to treat infections, give strength to soldiers before battle and to Olympic athletes before the Games. Hippocrates, usually referred to as the father of modern medicine (460-370BC), used it to cure digestive problems, as a diuretic and to treat pneumonia, among other ailments. The Roman, Pliny the Elder, wrote that it was used for similar purposes in the Roman Empire. Dioscorides, in his De Materia Medica, recommended it as a treatment for bites from rabid dogs, snake bites, coughs, leprosy and clogged arteries.
Ayurvedic practitioners use it to improve blood circulation and cure digestive problems.
In the Middle Ages in Britain and France it was used to protect people from the plague, as well as from evil spirits and vampires.
In the language of flowers and herbs, garlic is a symbol for courage, strength, get well and ward off evil and illnesses.
Recent medical studies have shown that it can help lower cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation and boost insulin levels in the body, which means that blood sugar levels are also lowered.
fresh parsley or coriander after having food with garlic in it, your breath won’t have the distinctive garlic odour
The whole garlic bulb is either referred to as the ‘bulb’, or ‘head’; and the single piece of garlic is a ‘clove’ of garlic, so be aware of this when you try one of our recipes.
125 gr natural yoghurt
6-8 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Peel and seed the cucumbers. Salt them and leave for 15 mins, or so until the water has come out of them. Dry them and grate them. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve as a dip.
Fresh bread is good to dip in this. Enjoy the Treat and Taste! (Kali orexi as the Greeks would say.)
It is a Treat and has Taste!