Sontag: Eight reasons to love garlic

Allergy season – and tissue-eating dogs – in full swing

You know you’ve lived in Gilroy for an incredibly long time when
someone mentions that they love the smell as they drive through
town. And you turn to that person and say,

What smell?

“Stop and smell the garlic! That’s all you have to do.” – William Shatner

You know you’ve lived in Gilroy for an incredibly long time when someone mentions that they love the smell as they drive through town. And you turn to that person and say, “What smell?”

Um, yeah, we Gilroyans kind of get used to the smell of garlic being processed. But there are a lot of great things about garlic – that maybe even Gilroyans (including the honorary ones visiting the Gilroy Garlic Festival) don’t know.

1. Garlic repels vampires

The proof? We have never, ever had a vampire sighting in Gilroy. Not one. OK, we had that “Twilight” movie play at the theater, but we’ve never had any real vampires invade Gilroy. And I think we all know why. Vampires don’t really exist. Although I am positive there are about four million tween girls who would argue with you on that.

2. Ancient people worshiped garlic

Oh yes, they did. The ancient Egyptians apparently thought garlic was awesome, so they worshiped it, along with cats. And while I have never, ever met a cat who liked garlic, apparently garlic was just as cool as the pyramids. So there you go. Egypt has their wonders of the world, Gilroyans have ours. OK, fine. Even I know there isn’t a comparison. Obviously, garlic is way cooler.

3. Garlic is worth its weight in gold

Well, perhaps not so much anymore, but at one time garlic was so highly prized by some ancient people that they used it as currency. And no, I would not have wanted to smell their wallets.

4. Garlic is an aphrodisiac

Ancient Roman and Greek brides carried bouquets of garlic (and other herbs), rather than flowers. Why? Well, garlic is supposedly an aphrodisiac. I know, I know. Normally, I think of an aphrodisiac as something a bit less … smelly and possibly something with alcohol in it, or a gift of sparkly jewelry. But apparently the Greeks and Romans were not afraid to let their stink flag fly. So the next time your date suggests a Tic Tac after you’ve finished off a big old plate of garlic fries, eat the Tic Tac. Seriously. You aren’t an ancient Greek, for Pete’s sake.

5. Fear of garlic is a real psychological disorder

Yes, yes it is. It’s called alliumphobia. And the only known cure is to travel to Gilroy the last weekend of July and eat as much garlic as possible. OK, I made up the cure. But the disease? Oh, that’s real. I’m sure there are a heck of a lot of vampire wannabes who can vouch for that.

6. Garlic wards off jealous nymphs

Hey, you never know when a jealous nymph is going to move into the neighborhood. Would it kill you to keep some garlic on hand to ward one off? I think not.

7. Garlic dreams are good things

If you dream about wandering through a garlic patch, it means that you will have a rise from poverty to wealth. If you are a woman and dream of garlic, you will marry for money. Huh. I must say, judging from my last bank statement, either that one doesn’t work or I’ve never dreamt of garlic.

8. Garlic ice cream isn’t that bad

Oh, sure we Gilroyans don’t eat it every day. But it’s not bad. And certainly if you are attending the Garlic Festival, you should try it. It’s kind of like vanilla ice cream. Only garlicky.

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