Few cultures are as passionately devoted to food as the Chinese, and Garlic is an integral ingredient to Asian cooking, its pungent flavour is featured in meals throughout China and very much in particular in our loved Sichuan cuisine.
Garlic’s pungent odour features prominently in Sichuan and northern-style cooking, famous for their incendiary spicing. Less well known is the fact that in China’s northern area, where harsh winters make for a short growing season, northerners rely on the onion family – including garlic and green onions – for seasoning their food.
Despite Garlic’s important role in Chinese cuisine, it is not exclusive to Asia. Garlic has contributed to the diet of several ancient cultures, probably because of the widespread belief in its curative powers. Exhausted Egyptian slaves were fed garlic to help them summon up enough energy to continue building the pyramids.
The Romans swore by it, feeding it to their gladiators before battles. Medieval banquets included garlic, and there is some evidence that it provided protection against the plague. More recently, scientific researchers have credited garlic with the ability to cure everything from high blood pressure to diabetes. And let’s not forget the legendary protection Garlic offers against vampires…
Garlic also rates a mention in several literary classics, including Shi-ching (the Book of Songs), a Chinese classic compiled by Confucius that features the work of poets from approximately the 12th through to the 7th century BC. Chinese herbologists have long been convinced that garlic have medicinal properties. Herbal preparations containing garlic – along with other ingredients – have been used to treat everything from HIV symptoms to Raynard’s disease, a rare condition characterised by an unusual sensitivity to the cold. But whether or not you’re a fan of herbal remedies, it is a fact that Garlic is conducive to good health, containing vitamins A, C, and D.