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17 outlandish garlic dishes: Celebrate National Garlic Day with garlic chocolate and garlic beer

April 19, 2013|By Rene Lynch

Garlic cloves dipped in dark chocolate? Garlic cheesecake? Garlic beer? Bam!

It's National Garlic Day, a day set aside on the foodie calendar to celebrate all things Allium sativum.

Garlic, a species of the onion family, has been with humankind for thousands of years, dating back to the Egyptian pyramids.

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Rich in beneficial antioxidants, this "stinking rose" has been revered for its medicinal and culinary traits long before "antioxidants" were a thing. Garlic was crushed into wine by 18th century gravediggers who believed the potent concoction would protect them from the plague, and World War I and II soldiers used cloves to ward off gangrene.

Those uses, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center's website, helped pave the way for more modern medical findings, which tout garlic as a way to ward off heart disease, cancer and vampires. (OK, we made that last one up.)

But this is a food blog! Let's not waste time talking about garlic's many health benefits. Let's talk about its garlicky versatility, which is always on display at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, which will be held this year from July 26-28. 

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A quick scout of food blogs highlight the beloved favorites: Check out this garlic bread from Simply Recipes, a rustic garlic butter and roasted broccoli and mushroom pasta from Pinch of Yum, and this lovely garlic mayonnaise -- or aioli, if you prefer -- from David Lebovitz.

Dig a little further, however, and you'll find far more unusual "applications" where this "flavor of the ages" is put to good use.

Take a spin through our photo gallery for a look at 10 of the craziest ways to use garlic.

We've got garlic gelato, garlic soup, smoked garlic... well, you get the idea.

But we know the love of all things garlic goes deep.

So, what kinds of garlicky treats are we missing? What's the most unusual garlic dish you've ever heard of?

Tell us in the comments section below. And if you have a photo or recipe we should link to, email me at rene.lynch@latimes.com so I can include it in our gallery.

How are you celebrating Garlic Day?

--Rene Lynch

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