It's up there with wooden stakes in the anti-vampire arsenal - but funnily enough, science has something to say about this as well. Garlic has been found to ward off vampire-like parasites in fish! If you need to keep fanged folk at bay, we suggest this quick-to-make Vampire slayer ramen, shared with us by Mandy Lee of Lady & Pups. Garlic upon garlic: 44 cloves, serves 4 people. You do the vampire-slaying math...
Tasty health helper
Various compounds in garlic are thought to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases; it may also have anti-cancer properties. While science is still working on exactly what garlic can do, and how, the history of garlic in medicine stretches back thousands of years. It's been embraced from ancient Egypt to traditional Chinese and Indian medicine - and was probably fed to athletes at the ancient Olympic games to increase stamina. It's often said to help ward off the common cold, too; there's limited evidence so far, although a review published in 2015 of various experimental results found that garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system. Why not double-up your health boost by putting a garlicky dollop on a healthy seafood stew: get the recipe for this seafood brodetto with garlic aïoli here.
3. Garlic prawns are a classic (thanks Adam Liaw!)
Yes, yes, there's garlic bread and aioli and all those other classics. But garlic prawns deserve their place in the pungent pantheon, too. Here's Adam Liaw's update on a dish he remembers eating at the local Chinese restaurant when he was a kid. Get the recipe here.
Rick Stein likes garlic too
"This is my take on a dish I had in Cádiz at a restaurant called La Merea (the Tide), which specialises in seafood and rice. It is one for garlic lovers, particularly as I – untypically for Spain – like to serve it with aioli as well," says Stein of his Green rice with garlic, parsley, clams & prawns (Arroz verde).
The case for Lebanese garlic sauce
Toum - Lebanese garlic sauce - is basically a way to show off how good garlic can be when it's the star player. It's the condiment that puts garlic up in lights. This recipe shows you two versions, one using olive oil and one using vegetable oil; whip it up and then serve with this Lebanese chargrilled garlic chicken (farrouj meshwi) - an overnight marinade in a mixture including garlic, sumac, cinnamon and cumin produces a flavour-packed succulent bird.
The 'it' couple
Watch out Hollywood, 'garlato' (or maybe 'potarlic') is the 'it' couple that's here to win hearts.
Matthew Evans pairs superb fresh local garlic and super-duper spuds in this comforting bowl of garlic soup. "To showcase the flavour garlic, I'm going to fry up half the garlic and then the other half of the garlic I'll add to the end," Matthew says and this two-step approach really enhances this soupy number.
Of course, garlic mayonnaise thinks it's a star too
And it's right, especially when paired with crispy-crumbed seafood, like Luke Nguyen's salt and pepper scampi with garlic mayonnaise.
It adds something to even a simple dish
Traditionally a peasant dish, sopa de ajo (garlic soup) originated in the Castilla-Leon region of Spain to help combat the cold winter. This soup is an excellent example of how a few simple ingredients can make the most satisfying meal.
Then there are all the riffs on garlic bread
There's been some unrest about a garlic bread shortage but fear not. Simple answer - make the garlic butter in this recipe, slather it on a loaf, wrap in foil and heat. Fancier version - this garlic-oil topped focaccia. Smokey twist - Raymond Blanc's smoked garlic focaccia, pictured below. (You can join Raymond in finding out how garlic grows, and discover a fascinating war-time incident in the history of garlic, in the Summer episode of Royal Gardens on a Plate.)
Wherever there's garlic, there's a crowd-worthy recipe to do it justice. Start here.