All Hail the Legume

Respect to the Bean

I recently had a request for information about beans. I think actually it was more a request about how to cook dried beans than these sorts of facts! For details on soaking beans check out this recipe for refried beans. In the meantime let your mind be titillated with these bizarre bits about beans.

Legume family: Fabaceae (or Leguminosae). The third largest family among the flowering plants (after the orchid and daisy families), and second most important to the human diet, after the grasses.

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Gotta Grow GARLIC!!!!

Extra Pungent and Powerful…

“It is truth, garlic gives man youth.”

–cry of 5th century Greek garlic street hawkers

Allium sativum has been called many things from bountiful bulb to poor man’s treacle

Liliaceae: Lily Family. The other members of this family-the onion and leek, also contain many of the same compounds that are in garlic to a lesser degree and are therefore used quite similarly in most cases.

History and Mythology:

Garlic is the name given to the leek (herb) with gar (spear) shaped leaves and phallic flowers. Perhaps referring to the belief that garlic imparts warlike properties and raises passion. Its Latin name Allium sativum is derived from al = burning, sativum= harvested. It is uncertain exactly where it originated but it is believed to be from either Central Asia and/or Siberia.

William Harvey who published a revolutionary book The Motion of Blood in 1628, was intrigued by a folk remedy for colds which placed a clove of garlic in the stockings overnight. This generally led to the smell of garlic on the patient’s breath the next morning, and reinforced his ideas of how blood circulated around the body. The other well-known connection between garlic and blood is the herb’s traditional property of repelling vampires.

Garlic was also reported to destroy a magnet’s power of attraction. Galen described it as the rustic’s theriac, (meaning heal-all or antidote to poison). Garlic has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes all over the world.

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