Book Review – The Miracle of Garlic
I couldn’t pass up a chance to read The Miracle of Garlic: Practical Tips for Home & Health and review it here, since garlic is one of my top favorite foods of all time. Seriously, I could bake a head of garlic in the oven and then eat the warm, soft cloves with a spoon. Don’t tell anyone, but I may have done that before! Garlic is delicious and when I follow a recipe that uses it, I’ll usually double or triple the amount of garlic that the original recipe calls for. I just can’t get enough garlic. When I saw this book, I knew I had to check it out and learn more about one of my favorite foods.
This book had a lot of trivia and interesting information about garlic. Did you know that in Korea and China, the average consumption of garlic for one person is 8-12 cloves per day? In the United States, it only averages out to about 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic a day. Historically, garlic has been used not only as food but in other ways, too. The sticky oil of garlic has been used to attach gilding to frames and furniture. It has also been used in making industrial lubricants, sealants, and binders. Traditional Greek midwives hang it in a delivery room to ward off evil spirits, much like stories tell about how garlic protects against vampires, witches, and demons. Babies who breastfeed after their mother has consumed garlic will spend longer at the breast, likely because they enjoy the garlic-scented breastmilk.
The author also goes into quite a bit of detail about the different varietals of garlic plants, choosing a type to grow in your own garden, and how to go about successfully growing garlic plants at home. Planting garlic alongside roses help prevent fungal infection of the roses and growing garlic can act as a natural pesticide for slugs and snails in the garden.
Practical information is also included, with instructions for selecting garlic, how to properly store it, ways to preserve it, and how to cook with it. The book wouldn’t be complete without a comprehensive section about natural remedies that use garlic and how garlic’s bioactive compounds can help the body. I had no idea that rubbing acne with the cut surface of a garlic clove can reduce inflammation and the sulfurous compounds help kill acne bacteria. There are numerous conditions that the author claims can be treated with garlic. During World War II, garlic was called “Russian penicillin” because Red Army doctors were short on antibiotics and successfully used garlic to treat infections instead.
My favorite section of the book was the garlic recipes section. In particular, the walnut/garlic sauce, garlicky spiced nuts, and garlic fudge looked interesting. Yes, garlic fudge! According to the author, the sweetness of garlic actually makes a delicious fudge when combined with granulated sugar. I’m intrigued and will have to test this out.
If you are at all interested in the history of garlic, properties of garlic, or health conditions that can be treated with garlic, I’d encourage you to check out this book. It was definitely an interesting read.
I was given a free Kindle version of this book by the publisher in exchange for a review. My opinions are completely my own and I was not compensated in any other way.