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is there a wrong time to eat garlic?

I love garlic. I will eat it anytime, anywhere with no shame. First date, no prob. Work lunch, absolutely!
I recently overheard someone at an airport restaurant asking for no dressing on their ceasar salad because they were about to get on the plane and didn't want to offend the person next to them.

Would you find this offensive?
I say eat and let eat!

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  1. I personally love garlic and the health benefits from it. I use it a LOT in my recipes, and never thought a thing about it until I had the in-laws over for spaghetti. They taught ballroom dancing, and hardly ate anything, but made comments about how "delicious" the meal was, but they were glad they didn't have a class to teach the next day as it might be offensive! They made this point several times, and of course I had garlic bread as well! I figure if you brush your teeth, gargle and scrap your tongue, it should be offensive to anyone. I found their comments to be "offensive"!

    8 Replies
    1. re: danhole

      I get the "you stink" from my g/f's sometimes after a heavy night of garlicing but nothing makes me happier than some roasted garlic with seasalt and olive oil and some crusty french bread. mmmmm...

      i put this in the same category as people that comment "that's gross" to whatever it is you're eating. Just plain ignorant.

      1. re: hotsauce28

        Years ago, when they first started saying all the health benefits of garlic, I took garlic tablets. They were supposed to be "odor free". After about 3 weeks of taking them my husband told me if I didn't stop taking them I was going to end up on the couch! That's when I threw out the tablets, and started cooking with fresh garlic. He has never complained! Just brush your tongue and get a tongue scraper to get the residue out. She'll thank you for it!

        Oh, yeah, roasted garlic! That is a bit of heaven!

        1. re: hotsauce28

          I've never found roasted garlic to be stinky.

        2. re: danhole

          Garlic to excess does come out your pores. Try smelling your skin the next day are having a lot of garlic. That being said, I eat it whenever I can. It tastes good and is good for you.

          1. re: scuzzo

            Well, so does alcohol, but does that stop me . . NO! LOL!

            Actually I think it would have to be a pretty excessive amount, but then if we are both eating the same thing, who cares! There is always cologne!

            1. re: scuzzo

              I can definitely smell it on myself if i went a bit overboard! Sometimes I even wake myself up at night!
              My ex and I used to fight a lot because of my garlic consumption and he actually gave me an ultimatum. I chose garlic.

              1. re: hotsauce28

                You made the right choice.

                I cook with garlic all the time. Sometimes I pop whole, raw cloves in my mouth. As long as I perform proper dental hygeine, I hear no complaints.

              2. re: scuzzo

                My mom doesn't even need to go to excess with the garlic. More than one or two bites of roast garlic and she'll smell like it for days. I pity her.

            2. I cook with and, subsequently, eat a LOT of garlic. Nobody ever complains, including my man who has to live with me... he minds onion or fish (or a nice lil combo of both) much more. One of my favorite salads is broccoli w/bacon & red onion in a creamy dressing, and I rarely have it because it so turns him off.

              That said, I'd probably forego eating garlic prior to, say, a job interview, or a first date.

              On the other hand, I've met people with offensive breath that had nothing to do with garlic. More like 'something crawled in their mouth and died' -- much, much worse imho.

              1. My husband chops garlic, fries it, and eats it by the bowlful. Just fried garlic. Nothing with it. I don't smell it on him, but I have allergies. I tell him that it supposedly leaks out through your pores, but I don't think he believes me. He has lots of friends, so I don't believe he offends anybody.

                1 Reply
                1. re: breadbox

                  garlic is my #2 favorite "food" on the planet. #1 is salmon. i've had more people complain about the smell of salmon than garlic.

                2. Sales persons, co-workers etc. and whoever is in contact with someone else in the conduct of business should abstrain. Going to the movie is another place where garlic smell is not welcome. Airplane and other confined places should be free of strong smells. IMO.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lamaranthe

                    I find strong perfumes and b.o much more offensive than any food smells.

                    Thank goodness my business is done through email and phone. I can't imagine what I'd be putting my clients through! =)

                    1. re: hotsauce28

                      hotsauce - we must share a brain, or something like that! I also only deal with people through email, and the internet, so no one has complained about my "smells', as if I smell! And I also find strong perfumes to be disgusting (makes my throat close up), as well as B.O, but garlic is like nectar! And Salmon - meow! Only my cats like the smell of that!

                      I still say that with proper hygiene, garlic should not be a problem, unless you are washing your body with it! Plus, if you work out and sweat a bit, the smell will leave your body - unless you don't shower! Then that is really gross.

                    2. re: lamaranthe

                      You are so right about going to the movies, or anywhere you're part of an audience. My man and I once went to see the Three Penny Opera after having had marinated ciliegini -- there was tons o'garlic in the marinade, and I think the people around us weren't thrilled... I must've blocked that memory out of my mind.

                      1. re: lamaranthe

                        lamaranthe, I couldn't agree more. I was at Best Buy the other night with a salesman who just STUNK of garlic. I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying because I kept trying to step away from the odor protuding out of his body.

                      2. First date between my wife and I, we actually had a garlic compatibility discussion. Luckily we both love it. Subsequent dates also involved other food discussions and tolerance levels of new and different foods. We were/are matched chowhounders.

                        1. There is never a wrong time to eat garlic.....If people take offense, you need to get new people.

                          1. I wouldn't say it is about right or wrong, but more about an individual's choosing to consider others' comfort over their own- which, at times, is appropriate for several reasons. As mentioned in this thread, the job interview scenario might be a time to forego garlic, both on the day of and the day before. Living/sleeping with another person who is offended by the smell that comes with frequent/excessive consumption of garlic would be another reason to choose to eat it either in moderation or less frequently. Third, the close quarters scenario- I WISH that people I sat next to on planes would be so considerate. I, for one, have been tempted to bring certain smelly foods on planes (or trains) in the past, and have chosen against it out of respect for the people near me. I don't want to smell their food/breath/sweat, and most likely they don't want to smell me/mine, either. Because I do think of these things beforehand, I consider others' lack of forethought to be lacking in respect, as well. And that is the part that is offensive.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                              vvvindaloo, it's inevitable when in close quarters you'll smell someone that you might find a bit funky but others find perfectly fine. I'm just saying that if i have the craving to eat garlic bread before a flight, i won't NOT eat it just because i'm getting on a plane. But i also won't o/d on it just to piss off the person next to me (though there have been times i wish i did!)

                              And as for living with someone, I found someone (like Jase) that loves garlic as much as I do and we've been living happily in our own stinky food bliss.

                              (Danhole, perhaps we were separated at birth? ;)

                            2. As an HR Manager, I've had to do the "we've had some complaints about your body odor" speech before. One guy at my last job used to reek of garlic and it was making his coworkers sick to their stomachs (especially the ones who sat within a few feet of him). I had to do "the talk" with him and he said he loved garlic and used to eat a head of roasted garlic with bread every night as part of his dinner. I told him that was great that he enjoyed his food so much, but certain smells do seep out of one's pores and can be disruptive to other people, especially in a small work environment. He promised to cut back. After a month or so, I had a talk to with complaining employees to see if things had improved and they said it had.

                              1. In the same vein, I think curry powder comes out a person's skin too. Am I the only one?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: scuzzo

                                  Curries, garlic...lots of stronger smelling foods come out of a person's pores I think. Although the strength of the scent seems to vary from person to person.

                                2. You love garlic, I love garlic. If a recipe calls for 2 cloves, I put in 6! I just carry mints (and a pocket toothbrush w/ tooth paste). I'm also obsessive about smelling funky, I keep baby wipes and Fabreeze at my office. The only time I try not to eat garlic is before the dentist. Unless you have a medical condition, proper hygiene should take care of any offensive body odor.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: MrsT

                                    and parsley! chew lot's of parsley!
                                    Scuzzo, i agree.

                                    1. re: MrsT

                                      Yes! Dentist and doctor appts! I should have included those in my list of appropriate times to cut back.

                                    2. No wrong time to eat it, but take precautions to be kind to your loved ones and fellow passengers/office workers, etc. I'd eat it and then have gum or mints on hand. Also, good to make sure to drink enough water.

                                      Having said that, post-garlic breath can, indeed, be really foul. I don't mean while you're eating it or just afterward, but an hour or so later. At that point, it doesn't smell like garlic, it just smells like sour, acrid breath, which is always a bad thing.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Kagey

                                        Altoids and water! They combat smell well. You know, I really find the smell of raw onions, on someones breath, to be far more offensive than garlic. I am very conscience of that whenever I eat them, which isn't often, but you can't have a good chili pie without them! But I brush ASAP, and before I can get to that I pop a couple altoids, and suck on them, not crunch them, so it doesn't make my DH gag!

                                          1. re: danhole

                                            While we're on the topic of mints, I actually think mints can cause bad breath. While you're eating one, it's fine, but then after it's gone, you get a stale taste in your mouth. At least I do. And a friend who used to eat Altoids all the time always had the worst breath after eating one! Maybe it's just the mints that have sugar in them, because they speed up the bacteria buildup? Water really helps in that regard.

                                        1. I won't eat garlic before a business meeting. It's ironic - garlic smells so good when it's being sauted but smells so bad on the breath afterwards.

                                          Even worse than garlic is garlic powder. The kind that is found in most pizza places. The fowl odor seems to settle in the stomach and wafts out toward the person the garlic eater is talking to.

                                          1. I read somewhere that if you rub garlic on your heel, within a half an hour, you'll have garlic breath..... garlic also enters the body thru the pores and then enters the blood stream where the odor is exhaled through the lungs. so perhaps the question is "is there a wrong time to touch garlic?"

                                            that being said, I love garlic.

                                            1. I knew a lawyer who worked as a union negotiator and his secret weapon in deadlocks was a lunch of escargots à la bourguignonne...

                                              Though I'm sure he encountered management negotiators with the same tactics...

                                              1. Should not eat garlic right before a dental appointment.

                                                1. Among singers, especially those in vocal ensembles and choirs, eating garlic or onions before a practice or performance is considered grounds for justifiable homicide.

                                                  1. fifth believes in The Golden Rule. fifth can smell the consequence of too much garlic on other people and it's not a pretty smell in that context. Of course, like certain other smells, it's less offensive if fifth has eaten it himself. Therefore, I just use common sense. If it's likely that I'm going to be in close proximity to ungarlicked peeps, I abstain.

                                                    1. Funny, I read this thread yesterday and this morning on the Early Show they had a story about a doorman who was fired for his foul breath, but reinstated after he promised to lay off the garlic.

                                                      1. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I wonder why some people emit the garlic smell and others don't, or is it just that some people have super smeller noses, and others don't? Do you think there is a difference between eating garlic raw, cooked, in sauces, or roasted? I have always thought that the taste of roasted garlic is much milder than raw, and that cooking with it is also milder. Or could it just be the quantity? I use it a lot in cooking, but I don't think it's overboard. You can taste it, but it isn't predominate over the other spices/herbs I use. Do some people just process it differently in their own body chemistry, so that it seeps out of their pores? Hmm. Or is it just bad hygiene? I have never had anyone tell me I smell like garlic, but for a time I took cider vinegar tablets, and people did notice that! They just didn't know what it was. It wasn't a funky smell, just unusual. I stopped once my DD saw me taking them and told me that she wondered what I had been smelling like! Who knew?

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                          I think that people process it differently, like how beans really cause some people to have gas problems and others not so much. I can eat a ton of garlic, but not have it seeping out of my pores, but another friend of mine, who will have eaten just as much, is 'reeking' of it. I do not agree that it is all about bad hygiene. Just as someone mentioned previously, alcohol can be smelt coming out of ones pores, but only on some people as well. I had to tell a coworker that I could smell all the champagne from the previous night, coming out of her pores. I know she took a shower and used deodorant, but I could still smell it. Also, many people often do not realize that they smell. They are desensitized to their own body odors that they may not know they are offending people. Just like when you put on perfume, but you can't smell it a few hours later, but everyone else still can.

                                                        2. First let me state that I love roasted garlic and garlic bread and garlic in cooking.
                                                          But I do find it offensive and can't stand the smell of garlic reeking from the pores or breath from anyone in a confined environment. That is why I refrain from eating garlic when I will be in close quarters or have a meeting with others. Is this a dilemma or a oxymoron?

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Citation

                                                            Don't know if it is a dilemma but I remember being told if you eat garlic it does not offend if others in your party are also eating it-so I guess take out coworkers for the roasted garlic pizza and bread and all is well. Not garlic but I have been told by my dh that when I eat Middle Eastern dishes containing fenugreek I am not so lovable. Any other spices or foods which offend besides curries?