Part 58: Eating Garlic

Unless you’re a vampire, my ex boyfriend or similar, you will know that garlic is the number one ingredient in terms of transforming bland, tasteless foodstuffs into a blissful harmony of delectable flavour that dances an orgasm across your tongue. It’s well tasty. And the texture! Tell me single people (you know I’m right) if a great big lump of boiled, tomatoey garlic melting on your tongue isn’t the next best thing to sex. By which I mean better than sex, of course – unless your partner is particularly skilled in the sex department (and let’s face it, most of them are not).

There are, I’ve found, very few savoury foodstuffs that garlic does not improve. In fact, I can’t actually name any off the top of my head. Garlic is to food what drugs and alcohol are to tedious company. This is why I always have at least two bulbs of garlic in my fridge, and any number of unpeeled cloves scattered across the kitchen worktop – so that I’m never more than an arm’s length away from a lump of the stuff when I’m cooking.

Reading those first two paragraphs back to myself, I realise that I risk coming across as a bit weirdly fanatical about what is, essentially, a pungent flavoured bulb pulled from the earth by farm workers and sold onto me at a profit. But then, people get fanatical about all sorts of shit. Crack for example. I’ve never seen the appeal myself, despite its relative affordability in relation to other intoxicants. Although, I have to say, it’s not so much the chaos it could cause in my life that scares me off as the fact that in terms of cash to length of buzz ratio, crack scores pretty low. Also, it’s not known for improving the flavour of anything – except maybe poverty, if you’re speaking metaphorically.

Like all of life’s greatest pleasures, garlic does have some drawbacks. The most obvious of these is its ability to transform one’s body from a fragrantly enticing love vessel into a repellent flesh mound, emitting vaguely disgusting aromas with every secretion. This is why it is problematic to indulge in garlic if you’re involved in a relationship where you still wish to touch your partner sexually on a fairly regular basis. No one wants to cause revulsion during sexy time, or answer questions that start with the words ‘what’s that weird smell?’ when moving into a sweaty embrace. Though it’s not so much the embarrassment as the inevitable curtailment of arousal which I see as garlic’s biggest drawback.

At this point, you might be ready to counter that relationships are about more than sex and sexual attraction. Okay, I am willing to concede this is potentially true for some people, in which case, go right ahead my darling, eat garlic, enjoy your sexless romance. However, I – and I’m sure most of my discerning readers – aren’t yet at the stage where we feel it necessary to prioritise companionship over lust, excitement, and the emotional car crash of a passionate love affair. What can I say? We’ve been overfed love stories by a lust crazed media, and our sub-par education has resulted in an inability to rationalise our life choices. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I’m too shallow to worry about that in any detail.

As far as I’m concerned, loads of garlic and the world of romance are incompatible, which leaves single people with a contemporary Sophie’s Choice. Indulge in garlic and eat food that will excite and delight your taste buds (but, admittedly, leave you smelling rather rank), or indulge in romance (which might provide temporary satisfaction, but which will also come with its fair share of dreary compromise), and dine at the banquet of the bland. I know which choice I’m making. I wish you good luck living with yours.

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