Garlic is one of the world's oldest cultivated crops. It was fed to the builders of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt in the belief that it gave them strength.
'Garlics, tho' used by the French, are better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery' - Amelia Simmons (American Cookery, 1796). It sounds from this as though Ms Simmons was an alliumphobe - the term for a garlic-hater.
Garlic may repel vampires but it attracts leeches. Experiments show leeches take 14.9 seconds to attach themselves to a hand covered with garlic, but 44.9 seconds to suck blood from a clean one.
In view of this, it may be wise to know that a recommended way to get the smell of garlic out of your hands is to rub them with salt and lemon juice and rinse; to banish garlic breath, chew on fresh parsley or a coffee bean.
The average American eats over 3lb of garlic a year and the habit is clearly an old one. The city of Chicago is named after garlic: 'chicagaoua' was the Indian word for wild garlic.
The word 'garlic' occurs 21 times in Bram Stoker's Dracula, and only four times in the entire works of Shakespeare. There is only one mention of garlic in the King James Bible, in the Book of Numbers, chapter 11.
The longest continuous string of garlic contained 1,600 garlic bulbs and was 36.5m long.