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Garlic is used in cooking in almost every culture and country in the world.

U.S. Garlic per capita usage:






0.4 lbs

0.9 lbs

1.4 lbs

2.2 lbs

2.3 lbs

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

California produces more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year.

Garlic: Top 6 Producing Countries          (USDA)




World Total

24.45 billion lbs

38.88 billion lbs


16.5 billion lbs

30.06 billion lbs


1.16 billion lbs

1.83 billion lbs

South Korea

1.05 billion lbs

600 million lbs


590 million lbs

540 million lbs


430 million lbs

470 million lbs

United States

560 million lbs

370 million lbs

Chicago got it's name from the American Indian word for the wild garlic that grew around Lake Michigan - "chicagaoua".


One farm in Monterey County (near Gilroy "The Garlic Capital of the World"*) plants 2000 acres of garlic and produces almost 25 million pounds annually.
*The Gilroy Garlic Festival is held in July each year.

Garlic and onions are among the oldest cultivated food plants. Their culinary, medicinal and religious use dates back more than 6000 years.

Garlic is pictured on ancient Egyptian tombs from 3,000 B.C. and is mentioned in the Old Testament, by Herodotus, Aristophanes, Virgil and Dioscorides. It is said to have grown in the left footprints of Satan when he left the Garden of Eden.

• Around 300 BC, Chinese courtiers had to use cloves to sweeten their breath in the presence of the emperor because they ate so much garlic.

    4/22/03  It is not only Chinese courtiers long ago -- even today no-one in the  British Royal Family eats garlic (so as not to have breath that might offend), and as a result no-one who works for them is a garlic-eater either. I have a friend who works at Buckingham Palace and who, as a consequence of being forbidden to eat garlic herself, has learned to be inordinately atuned to garlic breath in others. It seems that the purer one tries to become, the worse the rest of us smell.     Michele

Garlic was an ingredient in mixtures used to attach gold leaf to early works of art.

Elephant garlic is actually closely related to the leek, and thought by some to be the wild ancestor of the leek. The bulbs are very large, and can weigh more than 1 pound. They are also much milder than regular garlic, and can be slice raw in salads. Whole cloves can be sautéed in butter and served as an appetizer.

There is an all-garlic restaurant in Stockholm where they offer a garlic cheesecake.

    There is also an all-garlic restaurant in San Francisco where they offer a garlic ice cream. The name of the place is a nickname for garlic...The Stinking Rose!
    Gary from San Francisco

    7/13/05 - I should like to add that there is an even older all-garlic restaurant in Helsinki, Finland. They do not only serve garlic cheesecake, but garlic anything, such as garlic beer. The restaurant was founded in 1987 and has been open every single day since then - they do not close even for Christmas Eve, which is utmost unusual in Finland. See their Web pages at:
    Their Finnish name Kynsilaukka is an old, popular name for garlic, and literally it means "claw leek" (or "clove leek").
    Jaakko Rahola (Mr.)
    Member and ex-vice president of the Garlic Society in Finland - Espoo, Finland



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