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Garlic Lovers Day

Garlic Lovers Day is dedicated to lovers of garlic. Garlic is an onionlike plant that is highly aromatic and has a distinct flavor. It is native to Central Asia and Northeastern Iran, and has long been used as a seasoning and for medicine in Asia, Africa, and in Europe around the Mediterranean Sea. It was used in ancient China, Rome, and Greece, and in the Americas wild garlic was eaten before Europeans arrived. In the United States it was only popular near the Gulf of Mexico and in ethnic neighborhoods in large cities, until the mid-20th century, when its popularity spread.

Garlic is used on breads, and infused in oils that season vegetables, meats, and pastas. It is also used in making things such as bruschetta and pesto. It was used to treat gangrene during World War I and II, and studies have been done to see how it affects cardiovascular health, cancer, and the common cold, but results have been inconclusive. Most garlic is grown overseas, and 90% of the domestic crop is grown in California. There are many types of garlic, most of which are varieties of hardneck or softneck garlic.

How to Observe

Celebrate the day by making a recipe that includes garlic, or picking up a garlic cookbook. You could also make some garlic infused olive oil. In many areas this is also a good time of year to plant garlic, as it should be done before the fall frost.

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