Eating is one of the actions, that for humans can bring all 5 senses simultaneously to play: vision, smell, touch, taste, and sound in a single bite. It’s also one of the most intimate ways of interacting with other species. One organism being ingested into the other, digested, circulated, and absorbed into the cells. It’s the act of beings becoming part of each other. At the same time, it also creates a strong intimacy between the humans sharing the eating experience together.
Garlic, with its pungent aroma and distinct flavor, is one of the oldest ingredients found and has been used in culinary traditions around the world for centuries. It’s a simple, familiar ingredient, but at the same time a powerful life form, that has enriching benefits for the beings it interacts with.
How well do we actually know this powerful species?
We propose building a renewed intimacy and understanding of garlic through an eating experience.
The eating experience will consist of three chapters; individual healing, collective healing and ecological healing.
In the first chapter, individual health, we explore the medicinal properties of garlic in an act of self care. Anti Inflammation. Detoxification. Regulating cholesterol. Boosting metabolism. Stimulating cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
To care for oneself enables us to care for other species. We practice healing through diet rather than pharmaceuticals.
The second chapter, collective health, is inspired by the form garlic grows in – a bundle, wrapped up with eachother. This chapter highlights the importance of connection to others for health. Each individual has an element from the garlic; the roots, the shell, the sprouts, the flower. Everyone contributes to a pot with what they want to give to the collective.
Creating and sharing a healing soup together, being warmed from within. Serving each other, smelling the same, becoming a collective.
The last chapter, ecological health, is a story of interspecies collaboration. Monocultural farming makes plants vulnerable to infections and pests. Instead, resilience be introduced with companion planting – interplanting species that are mutually beneficially – which is the case for garlic and strawberries. The two have similar growth conditions, and at the same time garlic protects strawberries from spider mites, pests and fungus due to it’s aroma.
Bees also benefit from garlic, polenating the garlic flower for their honey.
Honeyfermented garlic with strawberry is the flavor of this ecosystem in a bite, to be shared between two companions. One person sharing strawberries, the other sharing the honey fermented garlic.
A companion plant, a medication, an economy, a tradition, a protector from evil spirits, a cooking ingredient. It is the sum of all these categories, and at the same time much more than these human-defined classifications. Eating garlic is caring for ourselves and learning to care for garlic – acknowledging the codependency in planetary health.