How to Stay Away from Evil or Why Do Romanians Love Garlic ? And a Garlic Sauce Recipe

Perhaps you are not aware of this, but us, Romanians, we loooove garlic. This is not much of a problem when we hang out among our own keen. But, once you move abroad, like I did, and your entourage comprises other nationalities as well, being a garlic lover might ruin relationships. So, this is a post to justify my nation’s faiblesse for this deliciously smelly ingredient.

Here is why Garlic is on our All Time Favourite Foods List :

1. Garlic is one of the world’s healthiest foods

Hippocrates used to prescribe it to his patients to treat a variety of conditions. That’s probably because he had no access to real medicine, but if you ignore that, it proves my point. Apparently, one of its components, the allicin contributes to the reduction of cholesterol, helps induce fat loss and even reduces triglyceride levels. According to some studies full of medical terminology that I’m not sure I understand correctly, it also provides some anti-cancer properties, in particular, reducing the risk of colon, stomach and prostate cancer.

2. Nutrition value

For those of you who visit my blog more for the Skinny and less for the Gourmande, garlic is highly nutritious, while being low on calories.  Garlic is rich in magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, calcium, iron and vitamin B1. Also, it improves athletic performance, being used in ancient cultures that hadn’t yet discovered performance-enhancing drugs, as a fatigue reducer.  As it seems, it was taken by Olympic athletes in ancient Greece.

3. Taste like no other

For those who come here more for the Gourmande and less for the Skinny, garlic is absolutely delicious used as a cooking ingredient, as it gives a special aroma to your food and also enhances other ingredients’ flavors. Either raw or cooked, garlic can be that one ingredient that makes your dish unforgettable.

Now, if none of the above convinced you, here is “la piece de resistance”.

4. Keeping the Evil Away

I bet you all heard of Bram Stoker’s novel about the Transylvanian count cursed to immortality and to feed himself with young fresh blood. You haven’t? Shame on you and on your literature teachers! But then at least one of  the Dracula movies. There are at least 20. Anyway, the story says Dracula comes from Romania (I’m sure that he is actually a she and that she comes from Hungary. But that’s another story.). And, besides being immortal and a Romanian blood sucker, he is also a great lover, on a constant mission to hunt young, beautiful damsels. So, correlating this information with all the knowledge acquired while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we can only get to one conclusion: Romanians use garlic as an instrument against becoming vampires themselves! And what a more efficient method than eating it to block our vampiristic tendencies? So, you see, my dear friends, we are actually doing it to protect the rest of you from becoming innocent victims! You’re welcome!

So, if either you share my passion for garlic or you suspect that deep within you have a vampire getting ready to come to surface, here is a simple garlic sauce recipe or dressing, to put it in fancier words, to help you enrich a rather boring dish or to kill your evil instincts.

Smashing Garlic Sauce
Smashing Garlic Sauce
  1. Smash the garlic cloves with a garlic press, preferably in a mortar. Then insist with a pestle until the garlic gets a gooey consistency. I personally prefer using the pestle from the beginning, cause, first, I don't have to go through the trouble of cleaning the garlic press and all those small wholes and second, for some reason, it gives me a feeling of empowerment. I totally own that garlic!!
  2. Once the garlic gets the appropriate consistency, gradually add the olive oil, the salt and the lemon juice or the yogurt. Now, regarding Sophie's choice, it depends how creative you want to get. If you use lemon juice, in my opinion, that's kinda reaches perfection. With yogurt, on the other hand, you can go crazy with all sorts or herbs: mint, thyme, oregano, basil, you name it or add cucumber and you've got yourself tzatziki.
  3. Now, if you stick to the lemon recipe, you might want to add a little bit of crushed walnuts, cause, from my experience, some combinations of food and garlic sauce can make you quite insatiable and if you exaggerate, you might feel sick. So walnuts, in this case, help with the heaviness of the garlic sauce and helps with easy digestion.
  4. Last but not least, put some love in it! No recipe in the world tastes good without love!
Recipe Notes

Image courtesy: Khrawlings 

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In case you’re beginners at this smelly business, I’m also going to dare to suggest some combinations:

  • For the Skinny lovers: boiled broccoli with garlic sauce, boiled green beans with garlic sauce , spinach with garlic sauce (the lemon recipe recommended)
  • For the Gourmande lovers: all of the above, plus a little extra – crispy french fries with garlic sauce or fried zucchini with garlic sauce (here, either of the recipes, but I prefer the one with yogurt).[/su_box]

And, I will also provide you with some priceless advice on how to get rid of the smell  (no, chewing gum doesn’t help much): eat a couple of parsley leafs! Puff! No more smell!

Now, go crazy, for the love of Garlic!

* Dracula image courtesy: Boogeyman13

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