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Over 4,600 Quotes About Food, Beverages, Agriculture and the Pleasures of the Table
“My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb [garlic] blesses and ennobles everything it touches - with the possible exception of ice cream and pie.”
Angelo Pellegrini, 'The Unprejudiced Palate' (1948)
“The human body, when it freezes in eternal silence, is said to be worth about ninety-eight cents. The body of an ordinary south European, if we could devise the means for extracting the garlic from it, would be worth a bushel of gold.”
Angelo Pellegrini, 'The Unprejudiced Palate' (1948)
"Shallots are for babies; Onions are for men; garlic is for heroes."
"Garlic is the catsup of intellectuals."
"There is no such thing as a little garlic."
Garlic lost some of its popularity during the 17th century: "We absolutely forbid it entrance into our Salleting [salad], by reason of its intolerable Rankness, and which made it so detested of old, that the eating of it was . . . part of the Punishment of such as had committed the horrid'st Crimes. To be sure, 'tis not for Ladies Palats, nor those who court them, farther than to permit a light touch on the Dish, with a Clove thereof."
John Evelyn (1699) 'Acetaria'
"Oh, that miracle clove! Not only does garlic taste good, it cures baldness and tennis elbow, too."
Laurie Burrows Grad
"A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat."
updated version -
"Three nickels will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat."
New York (Yiddish or Jewish ?) Saying.
"Garlick maketh a man wynke, drynke, and stynke."
Thomas Nash, 16th Century poet
"Garlic used as it should be used is the soul, the divine essence, of cookery. The cook who can employ it successfully will be found to possess the delicacy of perception, the accuracy of judgment, and the dexterity of hand which go to the formation of a great artist."
Mrs. W. G. Waters in 'The Cook's Decameron,' 1920
"What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art."
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, ‘Reminiscences’
"Garlic is as good as ten mothers."
"And there was a cut of some roast....which was borne on Pegasus-wings of garlic beyond mundane speculation."
C.S. Forester (1899-1966)
"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving."
Felice Leonardo (Leo) Buscaglia (1924-1998)
“There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic.”
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”
Alice May Brock (of ‘Alice's Restaurant’ fame)
“Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
When season'd with love, which no rancour disturbs
And sweeten'd by all that is sweetest in life
Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone
A man should sit down to dinner, each one
Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil
With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
The chances are ten against one, I must own,
He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.”
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1831-1891) Lucile (1860)
“A little garlic, judiciously used, won't seriously affect your social life and will tone up more dull dishes than any commodity discovered to date.”
Alexander Wright, ‘How to Live Without a Woman’ (1937)
“Provençal cooking is based on garlic. The air in Provence is impregnated with the aroma of garlic, which makes it very healthful to breathe. Garlic is the main seasoning in bouillabaisse and in the principal sauces of the region. A sort of mayonnaise is made with it by crushing it in oil, and this is eaten with fish and snails. The lower classes in Provence often lunch on a crust of bread sprinkled with oil and rubbed with garlic.”
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) ‘Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine’
“Garlics, tho' used by the French. are better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery.”
Amelia Simmons. ‘American Cookery’ (1796)
“A garlic caress is stimulating. A garlic excess soporific.”
“Another article of cuisine that offends the bowels of unused Britons is garlic. Not uncommonly in southern climes an egg with a shell on is the only procurable animal food without garlic in it. Flatulence and looseness are the frequent results.”
Dr. T. K. Chambers
‘A Manuel of Diet In Health and Disease’ (1875)
“Of the many smells of Athens two seem to me the most characteristic - that of garlic, bold and deadly like acetylene gas. and that of dust, soft and warm and caressing like tweed.”
Evelyn Waugh. ‘When the Going was Good’ (1946)
“He added that a Frenchman in the train had given him a great sandwich that so stank of garlic that he had been inclined to throw it at the fellow's head.”
Ford Madox Ford. ‘Provence’ (1935)
“And more than all, how many of us have dined at the Réserve at Marseille, that famous restaurant on the Mediterranean shore, where the brothers Roubion have acquired immortal fame? There is but one word in English which describes the sensation of the traveller who eats there for the first time -- that word is revelation. New truths seem to be imparted to you as you swallow, new objects and new theories of life seem to float around you. Strange ideas come to you across the sea: and when it all is over, when with a calm-bringing cigar, your legs stretched out, you silently digest and think, with the Chateau d'If and the flickering waves before you in the moonlight. you gratefully thank Providence for having led you there. All this is the effect of garlic, which works upon you like haschisch.”
‘French Home Life’ (1873)
“Well loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes. And for to drinken strong wyn, reed as blood.”
Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 ? - 1400) ‘Canterbury Tales’
“If ever son a parent's aged throat with impious hand has strangled, his food be garlic.”
Horace (65-8 B.C.)
“Garlick, Allium; dry towards Excess; and tho' both by Spaniards and Italians, and the more Southern People, familiarly eaten, with almost everything, and esteem'd of such singular Vertue to help Concoction, and thought a Charm against all Infection and Poyson (by which it has obtain'd the Name of the Country man's Theriacle) ...we absolutely forbid it entrance into our Salleting, by reason of its intolerable Rankness, and which made it so detested of old; that the eating of it was (as we read) part of the Punishment for such as had committed the horrid'st Crimes. To be sure, 'tis not for Ladies Palats. nor those who court them. farther than to permit a light touch on the dish. with a Clove thereof. much better supply'd by the gentler Roccombo combo.”
John Evelyn, ‘Acetaria’ (1699)
“Much more of Garlick would be used for its wholesomeness, were it not for the offensive smell it gives to the by-Standers.”
John Woolridge, ‘The Art of Gardening’ (1688)
“Without garlic I simply would not care to live.”
Louis Diat (1885-1958)
“Some hours after eating this dish [lièvre à la royale, which contains 20 cloves of garlic and twice that quantity of shallots], there is a peculiar sensation of liberation in the head. and it is sensation of smell.”
Patience Gray, ‘Plats du Jour’ (1957)
“There are two Italies.... The one is the most sublime and lovely contemplation that can be conceived by the imagination of man; the other is the most degraded, disgusting, and odious. What do you think? Young women of rank actually eat -- you will never guess what -- garlick! Our poor friend Lord Byron is quite corrupted by living among these people, and in fact, is going on in a way not worthy of him.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, in a letter from Naples (22 December 1818)
“I have read in one of the Marseille newspapers that if certain people find aioli indigestible, it is simply because too little garlic has been included in its confection, a minimum of four cloves per person being necessary.”
Richard Olney, ‘Simple French Food’ (1974)
“No cook who has attained mastery over her craft ever apologizes for the presence of garlic in her productions.”
Ruth Gottfried, ‘The Questing Cook’ (1927)
“Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, Bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.”
Salerno Regimen of Health (12th century)
“And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.”
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’
“It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking.”
X. Marcel Boulestin (1878-1943)
“To dream that you are eating garlic denotes that you will discover hidden secrets and meet with some domestic jar. To dream that there is garlic in the house is lucky.”
Richard Folkard in 'Plant Lore' (1884)
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