In Pursuit of Garlic Book Summary - In Pursuit of Garlic Book explained in key points
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In Pursuit of Garlic summary

Liz Primeau

An Intimate Look at the Divinely Odorous Bulb

4.2 (28 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

In 'In Pursuit of Garlic' by Liz Primeau, readers will learn everything about garlic from its health benefits to various cooking techniques. The book includes garlic-themed recipes, and the author's personal experience growing garlic in her garden.

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    In Pursuit of Garlic
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    Garlic’s miracle properties have been known for millennia and continue to be researched today.

    Garlic stakes a solid claim as being the pantry staple. Whether it’s in a fragrant stir-fry or part of the earthy delights of hummus, the tangy aromatic enlivens dishes in kitchens around the world. But its non-culinary history might just surprise you. For centuries, it’s been used to cure everything from boils to bee stings. In fact, garlic’s medicinal properties make it something of a universal healer.

    Take the Jiuhuang bencao, a Chinese treatise on herbal remedies from the Ming Dynasty. It notes crushed garlic’s usefulness as a poultice for infections, as a diuretic as well as a remedy for parasites, ringworm and dysentery. In India, Hindus long used allium in Ayurvedic medicine as a digestive tonic for skincare and to heal abdominal diseases, rheumatism and hemorrhoids. Mixed with honey, it was the perfect antidote to wet coughs, fevers, swelling and worms.

    The Roman author and naturalist Pliny the Elder also knew about garlic’s curative properties. He advised readers to pound it with vinegar and water to create a gargle for throat boils. Roasted and pounded with oil, it soothed insect bites; boiled with milk, it counteracted mucus; and mixed with fat, it could be used to treat tumors.

    The ancients aren’t alone in their admiration for garlic. The bulbous plant’s antibacterial and antifungal qualities mean that it’s still used and studied today.

    The key compound is allicin, an oxygenated sulfur responsible for garlic’s pungent taste and antibacterial properties. As a study at the State University of New York in Albany found, fresh garlic might not be as powerful as the antibiotic penicillin but it nonetheless successfully inhibited the development of the E. coli bacteria.

    A different five-week trial at the university showed that participants who swigged a 2.5 percent garlic mouthwash every day had a significantly lower presence of the gum infection-causing bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis. And if that weren’t impressive enough, garlic is also much more effective at treating yeast strains like candida than the fungal agent nystatin!

    All the more reason to reach for the garlic next time you’re feeling peckish. Keep it raw and the effect will be even more impressive, leaving you feeling as strong as an ox in no time.

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    What is In Pursuit of Garlic about?

    In Pursuit of Garlic (2012) peels back the thin, papery skin to reveal the inner truths of the miraculous allium whose exquisite flavor and restorative properties have made it a kitchen staple for millennia. A deep dive into the plant’s history, cultivation and culinary and medical uses, this rich exploration of the “divinely odorous bulb” is jam-packed with tasty morsels for cooks, gardeners and history buffs.

    In Pursuit of Garlic Review

    In Pursuit of Garlic (2003) is an intriguing exploration of the history, folklore, and culinary uses of garlic. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • Featuring fascinating anecdotes and historical tidbits, it sheds light on the cultural significance of garlic throughout the centuries.
    • A comprehensive collection of garlic recipes, ranging from traditional to contemporary, opens up a world of flavors and culinary possibilities.
    • With its engaging storytelling and the author's personal experiences with garlic, the book takes readers on an enjoyable journey of discovery.

    Best quote from In Pursuit of Garlic

    When you cut or crush garlic, elements alliinase and alliin instantaneously combine to create allicin.

    —Liz Primeau
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    Who should read In Pursuit of Garlic?

    • Garlic connoisseurs
    • Gardeners
    • Food history buffs

    About the Author

    Liz Primeau, a proud garlic devotee and avid gardener, is the founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine. The author of the bestselling Front Yard Gardens and My Natural History, she has also spoken widely about her expertise on horticulture across North America.

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    In Pursuit of Garlic FAQs 

    What is the main message of In Pursuit of Garlic?

    The main message of In Pursuit of Garlic is an exploration of the wonders and benefits of garlic.

    How long does it take to read In Pursuit of Garlic?

    The estimated reading time for In Pursuit of Garlic is a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is In Pursuit of Garlic a good book? Is it worth reading?

    In Pursuit of Garlic is a delightful read that sheds light on the versatility and health benefits of garlic.

    Who is the author of In Pursuit of Garlic?

    The author of In Pursuit of Garlic is Liz Primeau.

    What to read after In Pursuit of Garlic?

    If you're wondering what to read next after In Pursuit of Garlic, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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