If you ever wanted to know more about garlic the book Garlic, An Edible Biography might be the book for you. As the subtitle makes clear the book is about The History, Politics, and Mythology behind the World’s Most Pungent Food with over 100 Recipes. Written by Robin Cherry, travel writer and historian, the book is split into two sections regarding history and recipes.garlic

After an introduction from author Robin Cherry on how important and meaningful garlic has been to her, it is on to “Part One: The Story Of Garlic.” The four chapters in this section of over 100 pages explain the history of garlic in food, health, and literature, modern uses, and how to grow your own. Also included in this section are short bios of all the various garlic types which number far more than what you will ever find in your local store or produce market.

“Part Two: Recipes” begins on page 117 with a 4 page recipe list of all the recipes and their corresponding page numbers. That is followed by three pages on how to properly handle garlic before one moves on to “Dips, Sauces and Condiments” on page 125-130. All of that prepares you for “Bread, Pizza, and Pasta” (pages 141-146), “Beef” (pages 197-202), “Side Dishes” (pages 227-232) and more. Each recipe has an intro that often features a cooking tip or other advice that might include another history lesson, a list of ingredients needed, and instructions that include information on number of servings.

An acknowledgement page, a two page bibliography, an 11 page index, and a one page short author bio bring this 265 page book to a close.

While Garlic, An Edible Biography is interesting it suffers from two significant drawbacks. Surprising it does not contain any pictures of the various garlic types the book covers nor does it contain any pictures of the finished dishes. In addition to the lack of pictures that would have helped break up the bland and very dry text, there is zero nutritional information regarding fat/salt content or other possible dietary restrictions or needs.

Garlic, An Edible Biography is quite the garlic resource. With the noted forgoing limitations, if you want to know quite a lot more about garlic and how to use it, this is a book worthy of your consideration.
Garlic, An Edible Biography: The History, Politics, and Mythology behind the World’s Most Pungent Food with over 100 Recipes
Robin Cherry
Roost Books (Imprint of Shambhala publications, Inc.)
ISBN #978-1-61180-160-6
Paperback (also available in e-book form)

Material was picked up to read and review via the good folks of the Haggard Branch of the Plano Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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