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Mar 18, 2014 07:59 AM

Which cuisines don't use garlic?

Mr. Alka and I were wondering this the other day, musing on the glories of garlic.

Is there a "garlic frontier"?

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    1. One thing I've learned here, there is a religious, vegetarian sect in India that doesn't eat garlic nor onions. Not sure they have what you would call their own cuisine though?

      6 Replies
      1. re: coll

        Strict Buddhist vegetarian is the same, with the addition of hot peppers.

        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

          Same as the Hare Krishna temple I go to (to eat). They don't use garlic but they'll do a tiny bit of asafoetida powder for a similar effect. They also don't do caffeine or alcohol.

          1. re: PinkLynx

            This all comes from Hindu practice. The ISKCON people are Hindus and Jainism and Buddhism kind of derive from Hinduism. Higher caste Hindus are forbidden to use alliums or peppers, which are considered rajasic (stimulants which interfere with spiritual practice and excite physical and I guess mental passions). And yes they use asafoetida as an allium substitute.

            1. re: ratgirlagogo

              Thank you for the background info :)

              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                So interesting, I thought it had to do only with accidentally ingesting bugs. Glad to know they have a substitute!

            2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              There was this Buddhist vegetarian take out place owned by a female monk I used to go to in SOHO. No onions or garlic! That is the basis of all my food - have no idea how she made it so delicious

            1. Garlic was pretty scary exotic stuff to most early North American cooks of Anglo-Saxon descent - you wont see much ir any garlic in 19th Century N. American Cookery.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JTPhilly

                And even up through the 60s-70s garlic was still considered pretty exotic in many if not most American households. I think it was the 80s when garlic started being embraced on a large scale.

                1. re: Roland Parker

                  Thankfully the ethnic cuisines have triumphed

                  1. re: JTPhilly

                    What ethnic cuisines? Most places I've been to outside of the US (mainly Italy, Greece, Chile, Argentina, Brazil--to name some that are assumed as being garlicky) are absolutely NOT into garlic and use it sparingly in their cooking in my experience. Strong garlicky garlic bread: I've never eaten anything that garlicky outside of the US.

              2. Jain religious cuisine in India uses neither onion nor garlic.