April 11, 2008

Garlic On A Massive Scale

I'm a fan of garlic. I've been a fan ever since I lived in Japan. A meal infused with garlic, in my most humble opinion, is a meal infused with awesome.

I have, however, been made acutely aware of the after-effects of garlic ingestion. Over the years, I've been able to pick up on the body language of those around me who absorb the wafting waves of my garlic aura. Garlic that's gone through the human digestive process and is being excreted via the skin, lungs and brainwaves smells considerably different than garlic in its fresh, unsullied form. And that revamped smell is, quite honestly, repulsive.

I've been both on the receiving and administering end of the garlic bodily excretion treatment. Back in my wrestling days in Japan, grappling with a sweaty individual who had eaten ten cloves of garlic the previous day was the aromatic equivalent of trying to subdue an inexplicably-animated corpse that had been rotting for three weeks.

It's a very peculiar smell: it's not quite like overpowering body odor, but there's that component mixed with a gasoline/paint thinner/turpentine/nuclear radiation thing going on. If you can successfully wrestle with a garlic afficionado without passing out from the fumes, you're probably a good candidate for a lucrative career cleaning Port-O-Potties.

Given my experience wrestling with those oozing garlic from their pores, it's perhaps a bit surprising that I became one of their ranks. I suppose it's a bit like being bitten by a vampire: oh, sure, it appears horrifying on its surface, but curiousity tells you there's maybe something more to it.

And there is! I've found garlic to be a great addition to practically every meal, except for maybe cereal. I genuinely enjoy ridiculous amounts of garlic in some of the food I prepare, and I approach the preparation of such meals fully aware that I'm entering into an unspoken and unwritten social contract that stipulates I'm foregoing any close human contact with the non-garlic population for at least the next day-and-a-half. If I have important meetings or engagements within the next couple of days, I make a mental note to keep the garlic locked away.

Of course, in some instances, human contact in the post-garlic quarantine time just isn't avoidable. When I'm training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for example, I just know the taint of garlic is coming off my skin in clouds, and my grappling opponents are enduring aromatic hell. I think of it as kind of an advantage, really.

Well, about a week ago, my future wife, herself a garlic enthusiast, discovered "elephant garlic," which is basically a form of garlic that's roughly the size of a softball. This stuff is HUGE. She broke off a clove to include in a dish we prepared last night, and it was like slicing a potato.

So, today, I'm basically a walking WMD for anyone who gets within sniff-shot, and I apologize to no one.

Posted by Ryan at April 11, 2008 10:20 AM | TrackBack

I can smell you from here! But I too, love garlic, and grow it in my back yard. Baked garlic cloves....mmm the best!

Posted by: Donna at April 11, 2008 10:29 AM

A meal infused with garlic, in my most humble opinion, is a meal infused with awesome.

I swear to god, if it weren't for your aggressive baldness, I'd swear you were my long lost twin.

Posted by: LearnedFoot at April 11, 2008 11:45 AM

"...being excreted via the skin, lungs and brainwaves..."

Ha, your colleagues have it easy, as you failed to mention via the ol' bunghole. When I'm outgassing wonderful garlicky goodness, forget close human contact, your safety zone is measured in yards. A rather large number of them.

Onions have the same effect, btw.

Posted by: AndrewInON at April 14, 2008 03:17 PM

Manual Trackback:


Posted by: Stephen R at May 23, 2008 10:01 AM
StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!