25.11.04

What's that smell...?


If there is one thing that you want to do if you are anywhere near me after I have eaten my favourite food, it is get away from me as quickly as possible. You see, my favourite foods all have lots of onions and lots of garlic in them. I just can't get enough of the stuff. I can eat raw onion as a snack, and I rub garlic cloves onto my toast. A meal is not a meal without garlic bread, and when I am in a less expensive restaurant in Portugal, I always grab the tub of garlic butter before anyone else can get their hands on it. I put it all down to my close association with the Iberian peninsula and my friendship with lots of Mediterranean people - be they Spanish, Catalan, Italian or French. The Spanish in particular have a love affair with garlic, and it was one of my Spanish friends who introduced me to a typical Spanish breakfast of toasted bread spread with olive oil then rubbed with fresh garlic, alternated with toast spread with pureed tomatoes in olive oil and oregano. All this accompanied with strong black coffee (their gesture towards their Portuguese hosts, since I know that many Spaniards prefer hot chocolate in the morning). I have no problem eating raw onions and garlic when I am in Spain or Portugal, because they are part of the diet there. However, I have to tread more warily here in Scotland, where some find the smell somewhat off-putting. Nevertheless, given that Scotland has the highest rate of heart disease in the western world, perhaps we could all do with eating a bit more fresh garlic, and be more like the Spanish, who have the lowest rate. You never know, it might even make us better at football as well! Oh! Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US.

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