Vampires Vs. Garlic

Halloween, Holidays, Ingredient
on October 7, 2011
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

In recent years, Twilight and True Blood have extended a lot of sympathy to some of our world’s biggest suckers. But beware—if you encounter a vampire this Halloween season he’s not going to be the dreamy and glittering Edward kind. Oh no. He’ll be more along the lines of Gary Oldman’s blood crazed gargoyle-demon in Dracula.

The good news is you will only need one thing to keep your neck fang-free—aromatic garlic.

So why this irresistibly good ingredient? The answer is muddled in ancient folklore, but it all comes down to the stinking rose’s celebrated antibacterial, therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties. Centuries ago, various European cultures believed garlic would ward off everything from the black plague to evil sprits to blood sucking mosquitoes and fleas. Since a vampire’s bite initially has the same effect on humans as a malaria-infected mosquito—exhaustion, fever and anemia—a natural connection between the two was made.

Arming your blood with garlic’s goodness is easy at dinnertime, as garlic goes well in multiple dishes and is absolutely fabulous when baked into breads and mixed with greens. Luckily its bulbs are also easy to peel and prepare, so you can act fast in the event of a local vampire sighting. Featured below is our garlic-filled feast that will leave you ready to fight those biting bats Buffy-style.

—By Emily Arno