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Garlic: The Stinking Rose

The Stinking Rose

Garlic is known universally as the stinking rose. The term is reportedly going back to Greek and Roman times.

But why? The “stinking” part is obvious, but why “rose?” Garlic is an allium that is part of the Liliaceae family. Garlic is closer to a lily than a rose. So what is the origin of the name?

Oddly enough, there is no definite answer to this question.

The edible bulb is made up of sections called cloves, which are encased in a parchmentlike membrane. Three major varieties are available in the US: the white-skinned strongly flavored American garlic; Mexican and Italian garlic, which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor.

Then there is the white-skinned, sweet-flavored elephant garlic, which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek.

Green garlic is young garlic before it begins to form cloves; resembling a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb. Garlic’s essential oils remain in the body long after consumption, affecting breath and even skin odor.

Garlic and Cholesterol – Garlic and Pregnancy

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