From the health benefits (it’s said to lower cholesterol and fight off colds) to the flavor wallop it adds to dishes (we’ve even heard word of garlic ice cream), garlic deserves a pat on the back — along with a slice, dice, chop, and press.
Now, about that ice cream. Though a search for the stinky sweet stuff mostly turned up DIY recipes, Max & Mina’s (7126 Main Street, Flushing, New York; 718-793-8629)
has the real deal ready for purchase — though you might want to order a scoop of chocolate as a backup.
Skip the chopping and turn up the heat on chicken or veggies with a splash of “44” Clove Garlic Cooking Sauce. $5 for a 14-oz. bottle. (800) 854-7219, www.thegarlicstore.com.
Pickled garlic is standard fare at many sake bars. Now you can make it a regular thing — in amped-up flavors — at your house (sake or no sake). $4 for a five-oz. jar, $11 for a 20-oz. jar. (800) 537-6122, www.garlicworld.com
Ratchet up almost any garlic-dependent recipe with Malibu Farms Smokingarlic. Start small with a three-head order ($8.25), or try (and try again) all the company’s recipes with a box of 12 ($24). (877) 807-4706, www.smokingarlic.com
Fuji apples get a kick in the core thanks to a hearty dose of garlic and jalapeño in Earth & Vine Provisions Spicy Apple Garlic Jam (not pictured). $8 for a nine-oz. jar. (877) 779-2415, www.garlicgal.com
It’s very possible that no restaurant in the United States — or the world — is better known for its devotion to the lure of garlic than the Stinking Rose (325 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco and 55 North La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills), but the garlic-happy chefs at the following restaurants should keep you, er, smelling like a rose (sorry, we couldn’t resist) from coast to coast.
New York: More than a few cloves of the heavenly stuff have passed through the hands of chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. Now the two have teamed up for their first restaurant together, the upscale Italian eatery Del Posto (85 Tenth Avenue, 212-497-8090), and even tastier dishes are sure to emerge.
Chicago: It takes but a second to get your first taste of Bistro 110’s (110 East Pearson Street, 312-266-3110) take on garlic. Hold off on the butter here; your waiter will drop off a head of sweetly spreadable roasted garlic to go with your bread as you peruse the menu.
Somerville, Massachusetts: A bit of this, a bit of that, and plenty of garlic to go around is on order at Dali (415 Washington Street, 617-661-3254), a romance-ready tapas bar just outside of Boston.
Portland: The garlic-laden baked goat cheese with salsa verde is reason enough to make a night of Portland’s Nuestra Cocina (2135 Southeast Division, 503-232-2135) — but you’ll find plenty of other reasons to return to the chic spot again and again.