One of the several things I am struggling with since I spend part of my life in the UK is garlic.
Wait a second. I am not allergic. I simply hate garlic. And I try to escape from each single garlic-empowered meal served while I travel around the globe.
Now, it’s true that garlic is typical of the Mediterranean cuisine. Right. It’s also true that it was introduced in the UK around mid 1500, at least this is what I found googling “garlic” and “garlic consumption”. But today garlic is becoming a British food obsession:
- No way to find a sauce – pesto, tomato, etc. – with no garlic; garlic is ubiquitous. And I’ve visited several food stores in London, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Whole Foods, others. I’ve inspected every single sauce can, hours and hours of meticulous inspections: all of them contain even a minimum quantity of garlic (note: in Italy you can easily buy pestos and sauces with no garlic); in few words, no way to buy a garlic-free sauce;
- Restaurants are even more dangerous; it’s here that the Italian food stereotype becomes obsessive: Italian food must include a lethal quantity of garlic. Because it’s Italian. And Italians love garlic. So do we. Stop.
So I am still struggling with this problem even if I found a temporary patch: once at a table ordering food, if I explain that I am allergic and I can instantly die, then I will get higher attention and the probabilities that I won’t get infected with the hated element become much lower. In few words, I can survive.
PS: if you are in my same desperate situation and you want to be a bit more creative you can always go with the short statement (a long one is also available here): “As a devotee of Krishna and a practising Bhakti-yogi, I don’t eat garlic because it cannot be offered to Krishna.”