Rouses Magazine - The Garlic Issue

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THE GARLIC ISSUE d o o g ' n stinki


Oven Roasted Garlic






Our Crawfish Are From Louisiana and So Are We. We grew up boiling on the Bayou! We use our Down the Bayou Seasoning mix, which gives our crawfish that true Cajun flavor. It’s a Rouse Family Recipe perfected over three generations.​

Visit us online at

While supplies last. Weather permitting. Not available at all stores. Check Rouses for market prices on Crawfish.


​HOT FROM THE POT By Donny Rouse, CEO, 3rd Generation Peak crawfish season starts now, which means crawfish are just the right size for boiling. We’ll sell more than two million pounds of Louisiana crawfish before the end of June. We have special boiling rooms in most of our stores, and we park custom-made boiling trailers at some locations so we can cook up to 3,000 pounds at a time. We even have crawfish drive-thrus in some of our parking lots, so you can get crawfish without ever going in the store. We have customers all over the Gulf Coast who come by each day to get a few pounds hot from the pot. Clearly, you don’t have to be from Louisiana to love Louisiana crawfish: We sold nearly a quarter of a million pounds in our Alabama stores last year. Of course, we always start with the best crawfish, but the key really is our seasoning. Last year, we finally packaged it. Our Down the Bayou Seafood Mix is seasoned with lemon and onion and just the right amount of granulated garlic. I use the mix whether I’m boiling at home or at the camp. And I always add a ton of whole heads of garlic to the pot. It gets super soft and soaks up all of that spicy crawfish boil flavor. When you squeeze the bulb, the cloves pop right out, so it’s easy to smear them on crackers or potatoes. That’s always been one of my favorite ways to eat garlic.

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Red Beans & Rice Mondays began in the 19th century as a way for New Orleans families to make a simple, delicious meal during the busiest day of their week. Easy to cook and easier to love, the dish is now a beloved Louisiana staple and perfect for any busy schedule!

Hearty red beans, smoked andouille sausage and fluffy rice. That’s a tasty trio that will make every Monday better.

Learn more about the tradition and find recipes at REDBEANSANDRICEMONDAYS.COM

look for local Louisiana brewed beer, wine and spirits in Rouse’s today








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Certified cheers!



















TABLE OF CONTENTS Marketing & Advertising Director Tim Acosta

THE CLOVE CREW 1 Donny Rouse

Creative Director & Editor


Marcy Nathan

Letter from the Editor Head to Toe

Art Director, Layout & Design

7 Hard-Pressed

Eliza Schulze

by Ali Rouse Royster


9 Cookin’ on Hwy 1

Kacie Galtier

with Tim Acosta

Creative Manager McNally Sislo


Copy Editors

10 Garlic Sucks

Patti Stallard Adrienne Crezo


BREAK OUT THE BREATH MINTS 8 Chargrilled Oysters 32 Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 34 Garlic Confit Garlic Confit Butter Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons 36 Paella

by David W. Brown

38 Oven Roasted Garlic


Spicy Crawfish Boil Butter

Amanda Kennedy

Keep More Than

Harley Breaux

Vampires Away by Sarah Baird

40 Spaghetti & Meatballs with Italian Sausage

Stephanie Hopkins

17 Every Breath You Take

Robert Barrilleaux

by David W. Brown

Nancy Besson


Taryn Clement

Small Blessings


by David W. Brown

Stuffed Artichokes​


25 Garlic Roots by Sarah Baird


THE GARLIC ISSUE good stinkin'

Shrimp Scampi Garlic Bread

Mark your calendar!



Oven Roasted Garlic







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If someone asked me five years ago to try garlic soup, I wouldn’t have believed it was a thing. I was convinced to try it while on vacation two years ago and it has been a household favorite ever since. Bonus: Vampires (and everyone else) will certainly stay six feet away from you after one bowl.​ – Kacie Galtier, Designer & Illustrator

Is there anything better than a crawfish boil in the springtime? I’m honestly not sure there is. Unless it’s a crawfish boil with garlic. As an early-30-something-yearold, I’ve finally reached the point of zero garlic breath shame...bring on the cloves! – Eliza Schulze, Art Director

I can’t have tomatoes at all or my stomach becomes a bubbling cauldron of magma. So garlic butter has been a beacon of hope in being able to enjoying pizza again. My favorite toppings combo is garlic butter, mozzarella, chicken, and bacon with ranch dressing for dipping. – McNally Sislo, Creative Manager




By Marcy Nathan, Creative Director


am one of those women who absolutely has to have a pedicure, even in winter. I have pretty feet—no hammer toes, crossover toes, or long toes that stretch past the other shorter ones. I could skip the polish and be fine. Still, twice a month, I go to Cindy’s Nails to get my hands and feet done.

I always take a book to read, but instead I usually end up looking at my phone—or worse, working. I was mid-pedicure and proofing the first few stories for this issue when I glanced at my feet and remembered, appropriately, that garlic cloves are also called toes. TOES! As in, “This little piggy went to Rouses Markets, this little piggy stayed home…” Which of course begs the question, why do we call a bulb of garlic a head of garlic and not a foot, or even a hoof? One of the stranger things I learned while researching this issue is that you can taste garlic with your feet. Garlic contains a molecule called allicin—it’s what gives garlic its unique odor. Allicin can penetrate your skin, even the skin in your feet. Once it seeps into your bloodstream, it can travel all of the way to your mouth and nose. Perhaps there should be a toenail polish color called Stinking Rose. It’s not just your breath that can give away what you’ve recently eaten—or rubbed on your feet. Garlic gets into your sweat. If you’ve ever worked out with someone who had Chicken a la Grande a day or two before, you know exactly what I mean. Chicken a la Grande is perhaps the most famous dish at Mosca’s, a roadhouse restaurant on Highway 90 in Avondale on the West Bank of New Orleans. There was a time in my life when someone could just mention Mosca’s,

and the next thing you knew, my friend David—who was very well-connected—would be on the phone getting us a table. Someone (usually someone pregnant) would volunteer to drive so the rest of us could drink, and we’d be on our way. We could tell you what we were going to order before we even got to the Huey P. Long Bridge: Chicken a la Grande, of course, tossed salad with crabmeat, Spaghetti Bordelaise, Oysters Mosca. They cook everything to order at Mosca’s, and everything has garlic in it. I was a child when I first began going to Mosca’s. My dad, an attorney, had once represented a client against Carlos Marcello, who was thought to be the mob boss of New Orleans. Marcello had been convicted in the Brilab corruption and labor racketeering case, and my older sister Nancy, who’d seen The Godfather, was convinced she was going to find a horse’s head in her bed. (Marcello was the landlord of Mosca’s.) The stretch of highway in front of the restaurant was quiet and dark back then, and we’d make up stories about bodies buried in Avondale (Nancy wasn’t the only one with a vivid imagination in our family). None of these stories were true, of course. Carlos Marcello was just a tomato salesman, and there weren’t arms and legs of victims in the swamps of Avondale, just six to 10 garlic toes in the Chicken a la Grande. Want the recipe for Mosca’s Chicken a la Grande? Visit our website and type “Chicken a la Grande” into the search bar at the top of the page. Enjoy!

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Authentic Italian pasta, no passport required.


Local Fishers David & Kim Chauvin of Dulac, LA




By Ali Rouse Royster, 3rd Generation

ven if you pressed me, I’d have trouble thinking of a dish that wouldn’t benefit from a clove or two of garlic. My favorite crockpot pork roast basically just requires poking holes in the pork and stuffing them with cloves of garlic. I think it’s seven cloves, or maybe 15. Twenty-five? I’m not sure, but it’s a lot. I love garlic’s versatility. It truly works with everything. Chicken? Cook it in garlic. Steak? Pile some garlic on top. Salad? Potatoes? Shrimp? Pasta? You know it: Garlic makes it all better. French bread and garlic? Name a better duo. Rub a few cloves of garlic all over that toast. (Fun fact: My kids associate spaghetti and garlic bread so strongly that they call it “spaghetti bread.” I don’t want the word “garlic” to throw them, so I now call it that, too.) I use garlic just about every day. But I hate the preparation of it; every step of garlic prep is a hassle. I even hate having to break off a clove. And if the clove I’ve painstakingly removed seems small, I double my trouble and use two instead. Is this right? I have no idea. What constitutes a “regular-sized” clove? Again, no clue.

Worse, peeling the little paper peelings off. What. A. Pain. They get everywhere and stick to everything, including my fingers, the knife, the cutting board, the countertops, random passersby…but somehow, paradoxically, they’re hard to get off the cloves. What witchcraft is this?

if the recipe calls for minced garlic, I will audibly sigh. (I can be dramatic.) After trying hard not to cut my fingers off, I then have to get all the garlic off the knife blade, where the majority of my sort-of-chopped clove has stuck. Absolutely ridiculous. You might be thinking, “Why hasn’t she tried that trick I’ve seen on TikTok?” Well, y’all, I have. I’ve tried it all. All those hacks that look too good to be true are usually internet magic. And internet magic is just regular magic with Likes and Retweets: Nine times out of 10, it really is too good to be true, but now it has a bunch of hearts to trick you into thinking it isn’t. As a rule, I am opposed to single-use kitchen tools because a) they take up space, b) they are usually a pain to clean, and c) you can just as easily do it the oldfashioned way. I have wasted more money than I care to admit on magic garlic processors, and every single one has ended up in the donation pile. I’ve chopped garlic. I’ve minced garlic. I’ve peeled, pressed, grated, smashed and pureed garlic. What I will never do, though, is stop cooking with garlic. As in any true love-hate relationship, my love (for garlic) outweighs my hate (for preparing it). And at least garlic doesn’t make me cry, like onions do. Does Facebook have any tricks for dealing with onion tears? Let me know!

Don’t even get me started on having to chop those tiny little buggers. I can barely get through a rough chop, and

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Chargrilled Oysters Serves 4

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 dozen large oysters 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely minced or pressed 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano Dash Cajun Power Garlic Sauce Pinch Rouses Seafood Seasoning 3 fresh lemons 1 ounce finely grated Romano cheese 1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Freshly sliced Rouses French Bread, for serving Additional fresh lemons, cut into wedges, for serving



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HOW TO PREP: Heat a gas or charcoal grill to 450°F. Shuck the oysters and place them in a pan of ice on the half shell to keep chilled. In a small saucepan over low heat, gently melt the butter with the fresh garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, dried oregano and Cajun Power Garlic Sauce. Remove from heat when the butter is melted. Do not brown. Set aside. Working in batches, place oysters on the half shell over the hottest part of the grill. Add Rouses Seafood Seasoning to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice to each oyster. As soon as the oysters begin to turn opaque at the edges, spoon the seasoned butter into each shell. Add just enough

to overflow, being careful to keep your hands clear of flames; the butter mixture will flare when it touches the coals or grill. Continue cooking about five minutes or until the oysters puff up and curl at the edges. Top each oyster with a pinch each of Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Cook another 30 to 45 seconds or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove the oysters from the grill with tongs. Serve on the shells with extra lemon wedges and warm Rouses French Bread.

COOKIN' ON HWY 1 By Tim Acosta, Advertising & Marketing Director


f you grew up in South Louisiana, garlic is part of your DNA, like green onions, celery, bell peppers and the Saints. Here are a few tips I use when cooking on Hwy 1.

It’s best to store garlic heads whole instead of breaking them apart. The garlic skin, that papery outside, keeps the cloves from drying out. Don’t put your garlic in the fridge, or it will develop shoots, or germs, which are edible but bitter. Instead, leave it on the counter or in the pantry; we store our garlic in an open basket with our onions. Stored right, your garlic will stay fresh for at least a few weeks.

I pick up our pre-peeled garlic at the store if I’m making something that calls for a lot of it, like my 5-5-5 jambalaya, which is always a big batch (get the recipe at But when I just need to use a few cloves, for something like my paella (see page 36) or spaghetti (see page 40), I break them off the heads we keep in the pantry. Smash the clove with the flat blade of a knife to loosen the skin, then use your hands to peel it away. If you’re not going to use the fresh peeled garlic right away, seal it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag to prevent the smell from permeating throughout the fridge. Nobody wants to drink garlic iced tea, not even me. Chopping the cloves into smaller pieces helps release their juices and oils, as well as adds more flavor. Mincing releases even more juices and oils, and adds an even stronger flavor. I’ve seen people on the Food Network use a cheese grater on garlic. I use minced or pressed garlic in my charbroiled oysters. Pressing garlic is any easy way to create a very fine mince. Garlic and oil go together like red beans and rice. When you’re sautéeing garlic in oil, start off at a low heat and gradually increase the heat as needed, because garlic burns quickly. When you’re browning several vegetables at once, wait to add the garlic last. Or, place the garlic on top of the bed of vegetables, so it doesn’t touch the actual hot pan. When in doubt, add more garlic. You can use stainless steel to get the smell of garlic off of your hands—even a fork works. SHOPPING LIST I put some form of garlic in almost everything I cook. If you’re looking for garlic flavor without the fuss, here are some other ways to enjoy it. Delallo Hot Pepper Garlic Sauce This mix of fresh garlic cloves, hot red chilies and parsley in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an authentic Italian import, and one of my favorite garlic-infused condiments. Forget Ranch dressing; this is the pizza dip you’ve been missing. Cajun Power Garlic Sauce We’ve been selling this vinegar-based sauce since the early days when we just had stores in the HoumaThibodaux area. It adds flavor without heat. I add a splash to my jambalaya, chili, sauce piquant—even my barbecued shrimp and charbroiled oysters. Because it’s vinegar-based, it’s also great for marinating and adding brightness to rich meats and poultry. If you want a hotter version, Tabasco makes something similar (but spicier) called Cayenne Garlic Sauce. We Dat’s Garlic Parmesan Seasoning This is my new favorite find in the spice aisle. It adds lots of garlic flavor. I used it on some homemade onion rings, and I bet it would be great for charbroiled oysters if you don’t feel like making your own mix. We also carry We Dat’s Original Flavored Seasoning blend at Rouses Markets. W W W. R O U S E S . C O M


GARLIC SUCKS By David W. Brown


uarantine, day 1,534. There are 372 tiles on the ceiling of your apartment. There are 35,327 grains of rice in a two-pound bag. You have binge-watched the entirety of Netflix and Prime Video and have moved on to Hulu. None of your clothes fit and you now wear only king-size sheets draped like togas. You have not groomed in any way for six months. Your cat eyes you warily. What is it thinking? What is it thinking? It is plotting against you. Do not let it succeed. You have vacuumed your ceiling fan three times. You lose 500,000 dead skin cells every hour. If your pillow is more than two years old, 25% of its weight is from dust mites. (That figure is real.) You choose not to google what’s going on inside your mattress, and you are wise for that. You’re wondering about vampires. They can be slain by sunlight. They survive only by drinking blood. They reproduce (on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, anyway, which you binge-watched the first month of quarantine) by feeding from a human and then allowing said human to feed from them. They do not have souls. They are afraid of crosses. They are afraid of garlic. Wait—what? Maybe when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, he had some sort of aneurysm midway through and just wrote “garlic,” and when he came back to his senses decided to go with it because paper wasn’t cheap. That makes more sense than the folklore, if we’re honest with ourselves. I mean, the whole vampire thing is a little weird. Dracula craves blood but has no heartbeat. (Does it just go in his stomach and sit there?) A stake through his nonworking heart kills him. He can turn into a bat? Did his teeth just…grow in pointy? Even among all that, the garlic thing is strange. But there is a good explanation for it. A good enough one, anyway. HISTORY OF THE VAMPIRE

Above, Dracula by Bram Stoker. Published by Archibald Constable and Company, Westminster (1897); opposite page, clockwise from top, Digitally restored bat engraving from a late 19thcentury encyclopedia; rope of garlic hung from a wall to ward off evil; Bran Castle in Romania, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, is often referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


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It’s easy to pin all this vampire business on Bram Stoker’s novel, but vampires as we know them roamed the Eastern European countryside and the Balkans in particular for a least a century before the publication of Dracula. It wasn’t just Europe, though. Every culture the world over has been plagued, apparently, with our pale, undead friends. Babylon was haunted by lilitu

spirits who feasted on the blood of babies. The ancient Greeks had the lamia. Iceland had the draugar. The African asanbosam feasted on children. The Philippines had the manananggal. During the same interval that vampires were giving Europeans the willies, they were giving us trouble here in North America, as well. Rhode Island and surrounding states experienced a vampire panic—really!— when tuberculosis swept through the region. So, naturally, Rhode Islanders dug up dead bodies, and those deemed unusually fresh— stay with me here—were sometimes decapitated, sometimes had their unnaturally luscious organs extracted and burned, and sometimes (the lazy vampire hunter’s preferred method, though I’m not judging) were just turned over. A “panic” implies a few hysterical years, but this being New England, it lasted a full century. I’m sure they strapped a few witches to the pyre along the way for good measure. Those aren’t the only ways of killing a vampire, of course. Lord, no! Indeed, my worldtraveling friends, if ever you run across a vampire in Europe, a good ol’ wooden stake through the heart will do the trick. (Pro tip: Ash and aspen are the best woods to use). Cornered by a vampire in Russia or Germany? When swinging your stake, always aim for the mouth. The Romani used steel spikes, so keep that in mind, but have a wooden stake handy in case your vampire isn’t a local. When fighting vampires in the Balkans, you can shoot them dead or drown them or both. There seems to be universal agreement that a post-post-mortem dismemberment, incineration and burial with holy water will keep the vampire from rising again. Or keep them from moving around, anyway. THE COUNT Not only did Dracula not invent vampires, but it wasn’t even the first book on the subject. Ghostly versions of vampires appear in the Odyssey (which is about two and a half thousand years older than Dracula). They appear in the 1819 novel The Vampyre by John Polidori and in the famously homoerotic 1872 novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Dracula, though, has endured in ways those novels have not. Bram Stoker is particularly inventive in his storytelling; the book is written in an epistolary format—a

collection of diary entries, newspaper accounts, letters, and even telegrams. During his lifetime, Stoker was known less as an author and more as the successful theatre manager he was. He ran the Lyceum Theatre in London, and represented actor Henry Irving, who was like the George Clooney of his day. Writing novels was just a way to make a little extra cash, and Dracula followed a pretty typical monster adventure formula that was popular in its day. (He basically wrote a Marvel movie, complete with the heroes punching the bad guy at the end.) He drew on vampire folklore but really just wrote one hell of a thriller. The story involves one Jonathan Harker, an English lawyer retained by a Transylvanian count named Dracula, who is seeking to buy a home in London. Harker, while at Dracula’s castle, encounters three lady vampires and barely escapes with his life. He ends up hospitalized. The count, meanwhile, his real estate paperwork squared away, sets sail for England. From here it’s a bit of a melodrama with Dracula, on arrival, turning Harker’s fiancee’s best friend, Lucy, into a vampire. (The process is basically this: You get bit. You get sick. You die. You rise from the grave pale-skinned and thirsty for blood.) A professor named Abraham Van Helsing diagnoses Lucy’s condition. She dies but is later caught stalking children. Van Helsing and the Scooby Gang find her, stake her, stuff garlic in her mouth (garlic!) and bury her. Harker, back from the hospital, reveals

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that Dracula is a vampire, and Van Helsing devises a plan to kill him. The short, short version is that they all end up back in Transylvania, with Van Helsing killing the three lady vampires and Harker helping to take down the count. They live happily ever after. Dracula is really a much better book than this synopsis would suggest. The novel wasn’t a smash hit, but it was well-received by some pretty impressive names, including one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes novels. Bram Stoker died penniless, as all the best authors do. The novel might have faded into obscurity if not for a burgeoning film industry in Hollywood and a loophole in U.S. copyright law that placed the novel in the public domain years earlier than it should have been. Moviemakers could thus film all the Draculas they wanted and not pay the Stoker estate a dime, so they did, and they didn’t. “Did you know that Dracula is based on Vlad the Impaler?” you interrupt. No, I didn’t, because that’s not quite accurate. The name “Dracula” was undoubtedly taken from Vlad III Dracula of Romania, but that’s about it. (Dracula translates from Old Romanian as “son of the dragon,” though that is probably incidental.) Dracula’s original name in Stoker’s notes was—I cannot believe this is real, but it is—Count Wampyre, which is like writing a book about werewolves and calling the main character Berewolf. Stoker ran across the superior name while researching Transylvania and knew a good thing when he saw it. The original title of the novel was The Dead Un-Dead, and later, The Un-Dead. We know all this because to make ends meet, Stoker’s widow had to sell his research notes at auction. They fetched two pounds. GARLIC AND VAMPIRISM: A HATE STORY “But what about the garlic?” you ask. You’re just going to have to wait. I’m spinning a yarn here. Vampires are all over books, film and television, and to run through the list would be to fill about 10 of these magazines. But if you thought you would get through this piece without an overlong and loving mention of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you were mistaken. There are only two kinds of


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people in this world: those who have seen it and know that it is the best television series ever written, and those who have not seen it. If you know someone who has seen it and didn’t love it…well I’m not advising you to drive a stake through their (absent) heart, but I’m not saying don’t do it, either. The title really gives the game away. It’s a show about a vampire slayer named Buffy, and the entire series is an extended metaphor for adolescence and adulthood. What makes the story and its titular character so compelling early on is that Buffy falls in love with a vampire named Angel—a vampire with a soul. Poor Angel. I rend my garments for Angel! For centuries, he was the evilest of all vampires, but after slaying a Roma family is cursed with a soul! Another century elapses with him now feeling guilt for all the evil he has done. But it gets so much worse, as there is a second part to his curse: If ever he experiences true happiness, he is doomed to lose his soul again. Then he meets Buffy, and trouble ensues. And oh, Buffy, forced to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. No one can know her ancient mystical calling, and so she stares alone into the abyss every night, fighting the forces of darkness, an outcast among her peers, servant of a calling she did not seek or want. And then she begins a doomed romance with a man who cannot love her back. Over the course of the series, a little at a time, she sacrifices everything. But I have gotten carried away. You’re wondering about garlic and vampires. But first, some mind-blowing trivia. Vampires are sometimes depicted in fiction as having obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is why when Fox Mulder encountered one on The

X-Files, he spilled sunflower seeds on the floor in order to escape. The vampire had no choice but to pick up and count the sunflower seeds, giving Mulder the distraction he needed. Why do I mention this? (Aside from it being one of the finest hours in the history of television, Buffy notwithstanding.) Because when you are watching Sesame Street, it is not coincidence that the Count is a vampire. Counting things is what he and his army of the undead do! Ah ah ah. In popular culture, modern depictions of vampires—including Dracula—haven’t had much use for the garlic rule. A good beheading, immolation or stake through the heart, sure—there are no better ways to kill the undead (and also the living, come to think of it). On television, the best way for a vampire to protect him- or herself is to be really popular with fans. Then nothing can kill you, as Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer can attest. (Even Dracula, who appeared in a single episode, as you recall from the binge, somehow managed to survive being staked— twice. We also learned in that episode that Buffy has a sister! And I know that’s a spoiler but the show is 21 years old. Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father and Bruce Willis is a ghost. You’re late and that’s the price you pay.) Vampires fear garlic on Buffy. They do not fear it in Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. (An awful lot of vampire legends are dispatched in that novel, all dismissed as superstition and nonsense.) So what, exactly, is the deal with garlic? As it turns out, there are a few real-world reasons that vampires (assuming they are not real-world, which I am not doing) would

fear garlic. First, it goes back to the history of vampires roaming the Balkan countryside. In the days of yore, farmers in the region would hang garlic to repel wolves. (Presumably because wolves have a keen sense of smell, though garlic is considered a natural repellent to all manner of creature.) When you’ve got a superstitious people, it’s only a short leap from wolf to werewolf—a creature that precedes even the vampire. It is likely that vampires just sort of inherited the garlic phobia. Moreover, there is another famed bloodsucker believed to be repelled by garlic: the mosquito. (There is zero science to back this up, though I’ve just written 2,000 words on how to kill vampires, so if you’re looking for science, this probably wasn’t the best use of your time.) Here in the South, we are world-class experts on mosquitoes, but we didn’t discover the things, and probably weren’t the first to come up with the (false) idea that mosquitoes hate them. They aren’t attracted to you after you’ve indulged in sugary treats, either, in case you were wondering. And male mosquitoes don’t even drink blood.


“Well,” you say to the walls as you close this magazine, “what an adventure that was. A fine way of spending 15 minutes of quarantine.” You look at the clock. Time no longer has meaning, but you do it because it’s there. Only nine more hours left in the day. You flip through the magazine. “Did David write anything else?” you ask (this time to your potted plant, Shakira). Ah, David did! More things about garlic. And you smile. Clearly, he is losing his mind, too. In our third year of quarantine, with no television left to watch, there is only Rouses magazine. You look at your pillow. It seems a little heavy. You look out your window. The sun is setting. Which means vampires will come. You pick up a garlic bulb. You will be ready.

David W. Brown is a freelance writer whose work appears in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Scientific American and The New Yorker. His next book, The Mission: A True Story, a rollicking adventure about a motley band of explorers on a quest to find oceans on Europa, is in bookstores now. Brown lives in New Orleans.





very few years, there’s another ultrahyped superfood on the market ready and able to save us from the repercussions of too many late nights or couch snacks.

The Brazilian acai berry swooped into the spotlight in the mid-2010s with its nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich pulp that can help reduce cholesterol and increase brain functioning. It was touted by everyone from Oprah to local pharmacists. Turmeric—a staple ingredient in curries—recently took its turn as an Instagraminfluencer favorite thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects and potential to lower the risk for heart disease. From golden milk (a traditional Indian drink that combines turmeric, coconut milk, spices and a sweetener) to spicy chickpea stews, this healthful member of the ginger family radiated a sunset-colored hue across all social media channels for a spell. But even if you’ve never dabbled in superfood favorites like chia seeds, breadfruit and ancient grains, you’re probably using one of the oldest and intensely studied superfoods already. And it’s not a mystery fruit from a faraway land (at least not anymore); it’s a centuries-old, good-for-you ingredient in dishes that regularly grace our tables. In everything from Bolognese to roast chicken, you’ll find garlic. A go-to curative in Egyptian, Indian and Chinese cultures for over 2,000 years, healers across the globe have treated pungent garlic bulbs as a kind of cure-all pharmacy crammed into a tiny package. Since it was first cultivated in Middle Asia, garlic quickly became called upon to help with everything from balance and endurance (Egyptians) to skin diseases and rheumatism (Indians) to ulcers and spider bites (Slavic cultures). “Pliny, [the] ancient Roman naturalist and physician, listed 61 diseases that could be effectively treated with garlic,” writes Dr. Paavo Airola in 1983’s The Miracle of Garlic. “He said, ‘Garlic has such powerful properties that the very smell of it drives away serpents and scorpions.’ Pliny [also] claimed that garlic has curative power in all respiratory and tubercular ailments.” In the United States, the national awakening to garlic as not only a pungent ingredient, but a boon for the body, ran in tandem with the environmentally conscious “back to the land” movement of the 1970s, when health food stores became more than just one-off


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anomalies in major cities and organic produce began to find its way into shoppers’ recyclable tote bags en masse. Books and pamphlets—many with funky cover art and titles like The Garlic Book: Nature’s Powerful Healer—helped add a new dimension to a familiar food and encouraged the late 20th-century rise in consumers hungry to learn more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel. The curious experimented with drinking garlic juice shots; garlic in pill form was introduced as a dietary supplement; and there was even— briefly—an entire fad diet centered around garlic and other superfoods known as the “Airola optimum diet.” But there’s no need to take an ingredient as delicious and fundamental to modern cuisine as garlic and remove all the fun from it by ingesting a pill or treating it as a mealtime health requirement. While you’re perusing this head-to-toe list of ways—both current and ancient—garlic has been used as a preventive measure or curative treatment, pat yourself on the back for every just-one-more garlic knot or extra clove in your barbecue shrimp. You were taking care of your health and didn’t even know it! (And, of course, if you’re thinking about adding garlic to your diet as a health aid, make sure to chat with your doctor first.)

HEAD There’s no lack of recent studies about how good garlic is for you—between 1998 and 2008 alone, there were over 1,000—and many of them focus on the ways in which this odorous ingredient can help protect and support our brains. A 2018 study from scientists at the University of Louisville found that consuming raw garlic could slow the effects of age-related memory loss, particularly in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. “Our findings suggest that dietary administration of garlic containing allyl sulfide could help maintain healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in the elderly,” writes co-lead researcher Dr. Jyotirmaya Behera. The organosulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective in destroying glioblastomas, a type of deadly brain cancer. And on the mental health side of things, garlic has been considered a tool

such ailments. Many experts in the health food world swore by garlic’s ability to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients like calcium and magnesium. BONES, JOINTS & MUSCLES

for assisting in the treatment of depression in China for thousands of years.

If your joints are prone to creaks and aches, garlic should be part of your natural remedy tool kit. Research from a 2018 trial shows that taking a garlic supplement for 12 weeks helped reduce pain severity for those with degenerative joint damage in their knees. And a recent study in mice (no human trial yet, alas) has proven that garlic can also increase estrogen in females, leading to greater bone strength and, potentially, reduced risk of osteoporosis. PREVENTIVE CARE

SKIN Snakebites are probably less of a problem for us than they were for the ancient Greeks, but in a pinch it might be useful to know that they swore by garlic as a curative for this extreme injury. (They also used garlic for ulcers and skin crusts, and the Chinese used it to treat leprosy.) More common to our modern era, many people consume garlic to fight off acne, thanks to its antiinflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and the Farmers' Almanac even suggests using antifungal garlic skin to treat athlete’s foot. HEART The positive impact garlic has on the health of our tickers is—dare I say—heartening. Garlic has been proven to be a key ingredient in preventing (or even reversing) high blood pressure, with one major study finding that garlic supplements lowered blood pressure and reduced the risk of heart disease by between 16 and 40 percent. What’s more, garlic has been shown to help reduce cholesterol in patients, with 44 percent of clinical trials since 1993 indicating a reduction in the ability of harmful platelets to aggregate and in the total cholesterol for garlic-eaters. STOMACH AND INTESTINE

Achoo no more! A recent lab study has shown that people who consume garlic from November through February have fewer instances of the common cold than people who don’t, thanks to the bulb’s immunityboosting power. This makes scientific good on similar old wives’ tales from grannies across the Ozarks and Appalachian Mountains who have sworn by garlic as a winter-time remedy for centuries. And in the Greco-Roman era, garlic was always being doled out ahead of major events: before going into battle to preserve strength, as a way to stave off seasickness and even as an aphrodisiac for those in need on their wedding nights. Truly, is there anything garlic can’t do?

Sarah Baird is the author of multiple books including New Orleans Cocktails and Flask, which was released in summer 2019. A 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, her work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Saveur, Eater, Food & Wine and The Guardian, among others. Previously, she served as restaurant critic for the New Orleans alt-weekly, Gambit Weekly, where she won Critic of the Year in 2015 for her dining reviews.

Most Americans aren’t dealing with intestinal parasites in the year 2021, but if we were, we could take the advice of Assyrians, who swear by garlic as a means of curing W W W. R O U S E S . C O M



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want to take you back to the days before Crest and Colgate, when the rotting of teeth was just part of life. To a time when dentistry was done with hammers, and your breath was just your breath…and that was that. It wasn’t that long ago. When reading novels or histories, consider that if Scarlett O’Hara or Jane Eyre or Abraham Lincoln or William Shakespeare said hello to you, you’d immediately want to set yourself on fire. Woe to the time-traveling historians assigned to the 19th century or earlier! Your morning breath in 2021 was better than the absolute best day that Cleopatra ever knew. Helen of Troy’s face launched a thousand ships—but from a distance. From an olfactory standpoint, Marie Antoinette’s last day was the best of her life. Nary a pearly white in a single Founding Father’s head; it was sea to shining sea of hideous flaxen grins.

Here is a terrifying statistic. In 1900, only 7% of Americans brushed their teeth regularly. Today, according to Johnson & Johnson, 68% of Americans do. Just to be clear here: 32% of Americans today are not brushing their teeth regularly. That number is large enough that some of you are reading this very magazine, and I just have to know: WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING? I am growing weary of wearing my mask everywhere, but now I’m hoping we never stop. The reason so few people were brushing their teeth at the turn of the last century was the nature of toothpaste. It was gross: a jar of tooth powder shared by the family (or families), into which you plunged a damp toothbrush before sticking it in your own mouth. Everybody was double-dipping, and nobody was OK with it, and I’m with you there. Antibiotics hadn’t yet been invented, and who knows what was being passed around. Since then, scientists have delivered tubes of toothpaste unto the world like Moses presenting the 10 Commandments. There’s just no excuse for not using them.

At left, “The Tooth-Ache, or, Torment & Torture” was drawn and etched by by the British satirical artist Thomas Rowlandson in 1823; above, “Dr. E. L. Graves Unequaled Tooth Powder for Health and Beautiful Teeth” was produced and sold from 1906 to 1916.

Even in 1900, though, dental hygiene was not new. The rudimentary toothbrush is about 5,000 years old. Cultures and nations going back to ancient Egypt used twigs, generally, sharpened to get in between teeth. Tooth powder is even older than that: about 7,000 years old—a millennium more ancient than the pyramids. At the time, it was made from, among other things, ox hooves, burned eggshells and myrrh. (Perhaps the wise men wanted Jesus to have good hygiene?)

The Greeks and Romans tried to improve on it, adding bones and oyster shells as an abrasive. (Here I invite you to consider not only how this affected your tooth enamel, but how it affected your gums.) In the early 1700s in France, urine (your own) was considered to be a pretty good option. Sensodyne it wasn’t, but at least they were trying. Oral hygiene has always been serious business. On some level, people have always recognized that dirty teeth are disgusting and bad breath a thing to solve. Assuming a standard level of halitosis for pre-Aquafresh civilizations, bad breath beyond that might have indicated health problems: respiratory issues, liver or kidney issues, or gastrointestinal distress. Early mouthwashes were wine based, which was on the right track, though wine does not contain enough alcohol to kill bacteria. Still, when they took a swig straight from the bottle first thing in the morning, it was just good hygiene and families applauded. When I do it, it’s a problem and there’s an intervention. Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Paul Revere was a dentist. He was more famously an engraver, of course, but the closer the colonies got to revolution, the less valuable his services were. So he took up dentistry to make a little extra money. (It was, at the time, something of a trade, like being a roofer. You apprenticed for a bit and you were set.) World War II was a boon for oral hygiene in the United States. For one thing, soldiers weren’t given the choice to see military dentists: Before you shipped out, someone would be scraping and poking around in your head. This was new, and soldiers complained bitterly about it, but long after the war, such procedures—which included extractions, crowns and dentures—kept American teeth healthy beyond those of previous generations. The war was also good for dentists, who had to do an awful lot with very little, which ultimately improved their techniques. (When you have to extract a tooth but there are no painkillers, you need to be quick and efficient.) The entire profession thus saw an upgrade, including the introduction of new drugs, treatments and practices. In short, when soldiers returned home after the war, they had better teeth and America had better dentists. Just as people have always wanted clean teeth, they’ve always wanted white teeth as W W W. R O U S E S . C O M


well. That is why urine was the Crest Whitestrips of its day; the ammonia found in its chemistry had some whitening properties. When that didn’t work, teeth could be filed and treated with nitric acid. As for bad breath, its causes are typically born in the mouth, and usually from poor dental hygiene. Bad breath typically means a type of bacteria has found a place it loves—your mouth—and it’s making babies there. The name of this creature is Solobacterium moorei and, believe it or not, scientists only learned of the culprit in 2008, which is absurdly recent. Other causes of bad breath include the foods you eat; the gum disease gingivitis (which 1980s television taught me is, along with quicksand, among the most pressing problems a person faces in life); stress; booze; some sort of tonsil, esophageal or stomach problem; or maybe kidney failure. I would get that checked out just in case. If you’ve just landed on Earth and need some pointers, here’s how to keep your teeth clean. STEP 1. Buy a toothbrush. Rouses has so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming, I admit. I suggest you go with the red one. STEP 2. Buy toothpaste. Get the kind with the most stripes, or maybe the one with sparkles. Eenie-meenie-miney-moe it. You really can’t go wrong here. Now I know what you’re thinking, having just read that: Rouses is in league with Big Dental and it’s all buy buy buy when it comes to mouthcare. Reader, I assure you we are not. But we do care about your health and your enjoyment of food. Your bad breath is affecting your senses of taste and smell, and your teeth are going to rot out of your head, and how do you expect to eat from the Rouses smokehouse department, where you get bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers and bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken thighs? You can’t gum bacon, fella. STEP 3. Get floss. Close your eyes and point at the rack. Now open your eyes. The one you’re pointing at? That’s the right one.

this stuff, offering angles for brushing and all these crazy instructions. I don’t think we have to worry about all that today. You’re reading a grocery store magazine to learn how to brush your teeth. There’s really no wrong way to do it at this point, as long as you scrub the entirety of every tooth. Just really shove that toothbrush into your yuckmouth and give it the business.

STEP 4. Go ahead and pick up some mouthwash, too. The yellow Listerine will kill any microbe within a mile of your mouth. Get the big one. STEP 5. Go home. Please don’t brush your teeth in the health products aisle. STEP 6. Floss. You’re probably thinking, No way, man—that’s advanced level oral hygiene. But stay with me here. When I was in high school, my best friend’s dad was a dentist, and I asked him once if he flossed every day, and he said he did, and I found that hard to believe. But he gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “David,” he said, “go home and floss your teeth and smell the floss after. If you’re OK with how it smells, don’t worry about it.” Well of course I did that the moment I got home. In short, I have not missed a single day of flossing since 1996. The American Dental Association has this whole long thing about how to floss, and no one’s got time to read that. Here’s the short, short version: Hold that string tight and run it up and down between each of your teeth, and if you run out of teeth, floss behind the back ones, too. I’m no dentist but that’s pretty much the whole thing. STEP 7. Apply toothpaste to toothbrush. Just go wild. STEP 8. Brush. Again, the American Dental Association is really pedantic about


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STEP 9. Spit. Don’t swallow toothpaste. Spit that nastiness into the sink, and wash it down the drain, you animal. When I was a kid, I slept at a friend’s house and he and his kid brother swallowed their toothpaste as they brushed, and 30 years later I’m still thinking about it. Don’t do that. STEP 10. Brush your tongue. Oh, you’re not done with that toothbrush just yet. You’re going to town on that tongue. Keep going. Just all of it, until it looks like—well until it doesn’t look like whatever it looks like right now. Make it look like everyone else’s tongues. And get far back there, too. STEP 11. Rinse. (Even I didn’t realize there were so many steps to this.) Rinse that fresh, minty mouth out with a whole bunch of water. Just swish it around and let the hydrodynamic features of your newly flossed and buffed teeth really turn your mouth into a waterpark. Spit out the water and rinse that sink again, because nobody wants to see that gunk when it dries. STEP 12. Mouthwash. The final step. Pour about a capful of Listerine into your mouth, and swish it around for 30 seconds, and gargle too, like on TV. (I don’t have enough time to explain how to gargle.) Spit it in the sink, don’t forget to rinse it—I won’t tell you again. Congratulations! You will now have a much easier time making friends. Go ahead and toss your facemasks in the laundry, too. They probably need a good cleaning of their own.

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Gumbo? Add garlic. jambalaya? Add garlic. Boiled crawfish? Hurl as many bulbs into the pot as you can carry home from Rouses...

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By David W. Brown

By David W. Brown


f you live on the Gulf Coast, you know about the holy trinity: onions, bell pepper and celery. It is to Cajun and Creole cuisine what pasta is to Italy—the foundation, the alpha and omega. But if you look at most Cajun recipes, you’ll notice that a fourth ingredient is invariably called for: garlic. If the other three are the trinity, garlic is the pope. Gumbo? Add garlic. Jambalaya? Add garlic. Boiled crawfish? Hurl as many bulbs into the pot as you can carry home from Rouses, just toss them in with wild abandon. Boudin? Add garlic! (Honestly, garlic is the only ingredient you want to know is in boudin; just eat it and do not ask questions.) Where did this magical onion—garlic is an allium, from the same family as onions and chives—come from? What’s its story? Aren’t you a little curious about the pope’s life before it was flavoring dishes ex cathedra? Buckle up, because you are about to learn more about garlic than you ever wanted to know. THE GLOBETROT TER Garlic is native to Asia but can grow anywhere with a mild climate. When you think of garlic, you probably think of southern fare or Italian cuisine, but if you want to talk about a culinary tradition that really values its garlic, look no further than Chinese food. Indeed, depending on where you buy it, the garlic you are tossing like grenades into your crawfish boil probably came from China, which produces 70% of the garlic in the world—more than 21 million tons every year. Partially, it is because the Chinese have been doing it for a long time. Garlic was first cultivated there around 4,000 years ago, probably brought over from Mongolia. (It was being cultivated simultaneously in Mesopotamia. Garlic gets around.) It was prized in China for its perceived medicinal value and of course as a culinary delight. But everyone the world over loved the stuff. Archeologists even found it in King Tut’s tomb, and it appears in all manner of ancient text. It is hard to say when it was made pope, though, or who so elected it. Likewise, the holy trinity moniker has mysterious origins, though was likely a regionalism, Catholic culture being so strong in Louisiana. The moniker was undoubtedly made famous by Paul Prudhomme, who brought Cajun and Creole cooking to the world. A lazy man’s guide to this style of cuisine would advise: If

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somebody asks why something is the way it is, just say, “Paul Prudhomme, probably.” If you’re going to cook with his holiness, you might as well learn how to buy it. Garlic season spans midsummer to early fall, which means that is when it is going to be freshest. Unless you are the Garlic Whisperer, though, it might be hard to notice either way. Not all garlic is created equal. A bulb should be solid, with its skin firm and unbroken. Beneath, the cloves should be a good size. You’ll know it when you see it. When you give a bulb a squeeze, you’re checking to make sure it doesn’t feel somehow empty inside. (Your garlic should have meaning and purpose.) If the bulb is sprouting, it’s probably been out for a little too long. In produce and in life, there are plenty of bulbs in the bin. Look elsewhere. Anyway, choosing garlic is not exactly like solving a Rubik’s Cube. When you take it home, do not stick it in the refrigerator. The idea is to keep it dry, the way you would with onions. Sticking it in a paper bag and storing it in the pantry is advised. It’s not like kale, which goes bad on the drive home. A bulb should last you a couple of weeks, and longer if conditions are good. All this said, if you are like me, you choose your garlic a little differently. Look for the jar whose seal isn’t broken. Choose between the light green cap or the dark blue cap. Done. Not that mincing garlic is exactly long division, either. Here’s how to do it. First pull a clove from the bulb. Chop off the little root side. On a cutting board, smoosh it with the side of a chef’s knife. Or whatever knife you have. The little skin will be torn and loosened in the smooshening, so just peel it away. If you have a fancy knife, rock the blade over the clove until you have lots of tiny garlics. If you have a cheap knife, just chop it up the best you can, or get the jar kind. Nobody will know. Incidentally, if ever you are cooking and reach into the pantry for garlic but can’t find any, don’t panic. An eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder is the rough flavor equivalent of a single clove. If you don’t have garlic powder either, then definitely panic. Dinner is ruined. Again. You might be wondering why you have to mince garlic at all. I mean, isn’t it all a bit much? The reason, though, is that it is the only way to get that garlic flavor you love. During the mincing process, you are rupturing the plant’s cells, which in turn releases enzymes that cause chemical compounds to break down. It’s not a one-time thing, ei-

ther: Those compounds will keep reacting for quite a while. Those reactions are why garlic is so potent when compared with its enormous big brother, the onion, and its weirdo hippie cousin, the leek. Out in nature, where all God’s creatures kill one another, this is a survival mechanism for wild garlic. Eaten raw, they are like flavor land mines, and animals just can’t stand it. Studies have shown garlic still growing in the ground is capable of repelling things like mosquitoes and some birds. They are also believed by some farmers to repel pests like moles and rabbits. In Eastern Europe, the notion of garlic repelling wolves evolved into garlic repelling vampires. (See the vampire piece I wrote elsewhere in this magazine. Reader, how I slave for you!) I mean, warding off the supernatural is pretty heavy lifting for such a little vegetable. What could be the downside of such a beast of burden? Mostly it makes your food taste great and your breath smell terrible. But it’s so much worse than that, because eat enough of it and it will also give you a pungent body odor, too. Which seems unfair because eating chocolate won’t make you smell like cupcakes, but that’s just how things are in nature. The best-tasting foods either make you gain weight or smell like a bag of Fritos (which themselves are just sweat-flavored corn chips. You know I’m right and can’t unread that). This is because of a chemical compound in garlic that is absorbed into the blood and eventually works its way to your various organs. It’s what makes your breath smell bad (when it hits your lungs) and your skin smell worse. (But not bad enough to repel mosquitoes. That’s a myth.) “Ah,” you say aloud, gripping this magazine a little tighter and feeling as though you might be onto a medical breakthrough. “If garlic does something to the lungs and something to the skin, might it have different effects on other organs? Perhaps something healthy?” And the answer is maybe! Because scientists have already thought of this and tested it. (Better luck next time.) Maybe, for example, it slightly lowers your blood pressure—one reason, if you are on blood thinners, doctors discourage you from eating garlic. Maybe it reduces your risk of stomach, intestinal and prostate cancers. Maybe it doesn’t help with the common cold at all, though, so feel free to stop gobbling cloves and start wearing your mask over your nose.

Regardless of what scientists say, with their killjoy peer-reviewed studies and lives dedicated to understanding things, garlic throughout history has been hailed for its medicinal and restorative powers. Since the dawn of time, no matter the malady, the solution was garlic. Diabetes? Garlic. High blood pressure? Garlic. (They sort of got that one right.) The plague? Garlic. Roman gladiators feasted on the stuff, and the builders of the pyramids were fed it when they got too tired from, you know, building the pyramids. People throughout history were also big on burning accused witches at the stake; that your illnesses were caused by evil spirits in the body; and that trepanation—drilling holes in your skull—was just the bee’s knees when it came to treating migraines. Note that this was pre-anesthesia, and the tools being used weren’t exactly precision machined and disinfected stainless steel. The point is, let’s not overly romanticize the curatives of old. If myth and folklore are any indication, garlic can have some other interesting effects as well. It is a well-known fact that garlic wards off vampires, but it is also known to scare off werewolves with equal effectiveness. Demons just hate the stuff. It might also transform bears into people. The mythical birth of the Korean nation involves a bear who ate 20 cloves of garlic and some mugwort for 100 days. On day 21, she was transformed, and would go on to give birth to Dangun, the legendary founder of the Korean nation. So if you have a bear and do not want one, but also do not want to give it away, and want to found Korea…well it’s worth trying. But whether for real food or imagined medicine, little garlic—with its papery skin that gets everywhere and its powerful flavor that makes Cajun food sing—deserves our respect. It’s not easy to run with onion, celery and bell pepper, but garlic does it with ease. It doesn’t need to be part of the trinity. It can stand alone in St. Peter’s Basilica, waving serenely at the adoring crowds.

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e all know that for plants to flourish, they need a few key resources like water, sunlight and air. For communities to grow and thrive, though, they require a few more foundational elements: relationships, shared bits of culture and history, and—yes— culinary touchstones. For millions of people across the world, garlic is one of those revered pieces of local fiber, having been integrated into daily life through meals, medicine, agriculture and even pop culture for centuries. And whether you’re examining the Korean myth that the country was founded by 20 cloves of garlic and a bear woman, or how garlic has long been treated as Russia’s third doctor (behind bathhouses and vodka), it becomes strikingly clear that garlic is so much more than a mealtime ingredient. GARLIC IN AGRICULTURE

Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, with records indicating that this edible, medicinal bulb’s agricultural origin story begins in Central Asia some 5,000 years ago. But thanks to the hardiness of its cloves—and its ability to be pulled from the ground, cured, transported, then successfully replanted with ease—it didn’t stay isolated in Central Asia for long. Instead, garlic quickly became a plant well-known to practically every ancient civilization from India to Greece to the Vikings. Its far-reaching spread as a major crop commodity mirrors human migration patterns over thousands of years. Garlic is not a monolith, though: It’s a colorful, bountiful and diverse crop with plenty of varieties across different ecosystems. The two major subspecies for garlic are “hardneck” and “softneck,” terms coined by agriculturalist Ron England in the early 1990s. Hardneck garlic typically has more complex, pungent flavors than softneck and is identified by its tall, flowering stem known as a scape, which can be eaten as a seasonal vegetable and planted to propagate new garlic bulbs. Softneck garlic, which is more commonly found on American tables and can be easily stored for long periods, has far more cloves than its hardneck cousins (typically between eight and 20) and lacks the hardneck’s signature stalk.

But the garlic family tree doesn’t stop there. Thanks to garlic’s wide-ranging travels, capacity to thrive in pretty much any growing conditions and ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually, there are now 10 types of garlic within the two subspecies, according to the USDA, and over 450 unique cultivars therein from around the world. Several factors like rainfall, altitude and overwintering conditions help to form garlic that is best suited to certain regions. Like wine grapes and tomatoes, this vast variety offers the kind of agricultural and culinary journey that excites food enthusiasts as well as fans of culture and agriculture. There’s the large, violet-and-porcelain cloves of Mexican Purple garlic and the easy-to-store Creole Red, which grows best in warmer climates. Vekak garlic, part of the “purple stripe” family, has a warmth that lends itself to roasting, while Georgian Fire garlic—from the Republic of Georgia—has spicy, teardrop-shaped bulbs renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties. If any restaurant ever makes a “garlics of the world” tasting menu, go ahead and sign me up. Garlic is also a fine friend to many other crops, often pulling double-duty as an unofficial guardian of the soil as it grows, scaring off bugs and blight with its very presence. If you’re growing garlic this year, consider using this companion planting method to the benefit of your entire backyard ecosystem. “‘Companion planting’ is the practice of planting certain crops in proximity to each other to optimize pest control, pollination and overall health. Garlic repels aphids, cabbage worms, slugs and other pests, making it a beneficial companion to...lettuce, spinach, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage and broccoli,” writes Robin Cherry in her 2014 book, Garlic: An Edible Biography. “Garlic is a good companion to all fruit trees because its aroma repels caterpillars, mites and Japanese beetles...while also [attracting] good insects by providing shelter, pollen and nectar.” Beyond the backyard and on a much grander scale, China is the world’s largest producer of garlic today, making up 80% of total global cultivation, while California accounts for 90% of garlic growers in the United States. If you want to go really deep into trying different off-the-grid garlic varietals, true wild garlic still grows in the hills and

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meadows of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and has been introduced to most of the Eastern United States and Canada (where it is often listed as an invasive species). Whether you live in Alabama or Alberta, wild garlic is just waiting for you to come unearth it. GARLIC IN POLITICS & SOCIET Y Like most products and ideas deeply woven into the fabric of our society, garlic has never been immune from politics. From the days of Ovid, through medieval England and into early 20th-century America, garlic was frequently treated by the upper class as a food that was beneath them due to its pungent, lingering smell, leading to the use of derogatory terms like “garlic eaters” and subsequent discrimination based on culinary choices. In Cervantes’s Don Quixote, for example, the wayward hero decries to his secondin-command, “Do not eat garlic or onions, for their smell will reveal that you are a peasant!” And in 1963’s The Joy of Cooking, the authors make a point to call out the rampant mid-century hypocrisy in suburban America surrounding the ingredient. “Garlic is perhaps the most controversial addition to 2 6 R O U S E S M A R C H A P R I L 20 21

food…as our guests have sometimes been obviously relishing [it], unaware [they are] eating garlic while inveighing loudly against it,” write Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Even in Italy, Northern Italians have a sustained history of prejudice against Southern Italians’ use of the ingredient, specifically for the odor. “The disrepute heaped on garlic—and those who eat it—has its roots in the Italian peninsula, and it reflects the class and racial biases that undergird Italy’s longsimmering North/South tensions,” writes Rocco Marinaccio in his 2012 article, “Garlic Eaters”: Reform and Resistance a Tavola. “In this context, the reek of garlic particularly adheres to poor southerners, who made up the substantive majority of emigrants to the United States. The transference of regionally based class tensions from the Italian peninsula to the United States during the era of mass European migration…thus provided the grounds for a similar association of garlic with the lower orders to emerge in the United States.” In more recent years—as garlic has gone from stigmatized bulb to staple ingredient in most kitchens—the politics of garlic economics and importation have taken center stage

in several high-profile, David-vs.-Goliathstyle international battles. Perhaps most notable is New Mexican garlic farmer Stanley Crawford’s journey, which was well documented in his 2019 book, The Garlic Papers: A Small Garlic Farmer in the Age of Global Vampires. (There’s also a Netflix documentary, “Garlic Breath,” if that’s more your speed.) In 2014, Crawford questioned U.S. tariff exemptions for the country’s largest importer of Chinese garlic, setting off a yearslong legal journey. By 2019—at least partially in response to pressures from Crawford and other small farmers—tariffs on Chinese garlic were hiked to 25%, leading to a sudden, unexpected rush on American-grown versions of the odiferous bulbs. “This 25% tariff on inbound Chinese garlic has been a fantastic thing for American garlic farmers,” Ken Christopher of Christopher Ranch—the country’s largest garlic farm—told NPR’s Marketplace in 2020. GARLIC IN FOLKLORE Whether treated as divine or openly maligned, chances are that your greatgrandparents had some pretty strong feelings, and perhaps superstitions, surrounding garlic.

Thanks in large part to its distinctive, powerful odor, garlic has long been considered a source of protection against danger in many forms. Korean lore recommended consuming pickled garlic before walking through mountain paths, believing that it would ward off tigers. Ancient Greeks would place garlic atop a pile of stones at crossroads in hopes that it would cause demons to lose their way, as well as hang braids of it around the room where a woman was giving birth to keep nefarious spirits at bay. King Henry IV of France bathed in garlic to keep evil specters from harming him. And throughout the early centuries of Mediterranean culture, women would carry garlic in their pockets to ward off the jealous energy of the “evil eye” against their children, a superstition that still carries on to this day. It’s Romania, though—the home to vampire mythos galore—where garlic does the most work toward repelling all things otherworldly. This is particularly true on the Night of the Vampires (November 29), a major folkloric holiday when, the story goes, the barrier between the supernatural world and visible world vanishes, allowing wicked ghosts and spirits to pass through. “On [this day], children in Transylvanian villages are told by their mothers to eat garlic in the morning and recite the following: ‘Garlic is shaped in the form of a cross; I have a cross on my forehead,’” writes Cherry. “The incantation is meant to ward off evil charms and spells that have been directed at the child.”

the angels are offended by the strong smells that offend the children of Adam.” But for those who consider themselves garlic lovers, the bulbs might be just what you need to get better shut-eye. Superstition in Rajasthan, India, dictates that those who have nightmares should keep two or three garlic cloves under their pillows while sleeping to end the scary dreams. Feel free to try this out the next time you’re jolted awake at 2 a.m., and let me know how it goes. GARLIC IN POP CULTURE When it comes to food in books, on film and in the greater public consciousness, there are few ingredients that have found their way into a more central position in plot lines and story arcs than garlic, which—in many cases—becomes a character unto itself, revealing motives and helping mine emotions like a supporting cast member. “And most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath!” Nick Bottom declares in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Paranoia’s the garlic in life’s kitchen, right? You can never have too much,” writes Thomas Pynchon in his 2013 novel, Bleeding Edge. And in the 1988 Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Garlic Ballads, Mo Yan uses the 1987 Chinese “garlic glut” as background for a lyrical tale of love, greed and corruption. But perhaps most famously, this stinking rose is well-known to horror movie enthusiasts and Halloween costumers alike for repelling Transylvania’s palest blood-sucking villain: Count Dracula.

Of course, garlic isn’t just the go-to defender against unnatural beings—it’s also lucky. Roman brides carried bouquets of garlic to symbolize fertility and longevity, while Hungarian jockeys rub their horses with garlic for luck before a race to this day. And when it comes to dreams, garlic is a major (mostly positive) subconscious symbol while you’re sleeping. “To dream that you are eating garlic denotes that you will discover hidden secrets, and to dream that there is garlic in the house is lucky,” writes Richard Folkard in his 1884 book, Plant Lore.

Building from generations-old folklore and rituals, many featuring garlic necklaces and door garlands serving as protection from evil beings, Irish author Bram Stoker penned his Gothic horror novel Dracula in 1897, cementing garlic’s place as a tool on the side of the good guys against the undead.

But not every tradition sees garlic as a powerful force for good. The prophet Mohammed claimed that when Satan was cast out of the garden of Eden, garlic would spring up wherever he put his left foot, and onion wherever he put his right. His negative feelings toward garlic were so strong that he declared, “He who has eaten ... [raw] garlic … should not approach our mosque, because

“Oh, Professor, I believe you are only putting up a joke on me. Why, these flowers are only common garlic,” says Stoker’s heroine Lucy when Professor Van Helsing attempts to adorn her room with garlic as protection from Count Dracula. “To my surprise, Van Helsing rose up and said with all his sternness, his iron jaw set and his bushy eyebrows meeting: ‘No trifling with me! I never jest!

“To dream that you are eating garlic denotes that you will discover hidden secrets, and to dream that there is garlic in the house is lucky.” - Richard Folkard, Plant Lore, 1884

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There is grim purpose in all I do; and I warn you that you do not thwart me.’” Readers, and eventually, filmgoers, were hooked on the mythology built by Stoker, and riffs on vampires and garlic have been playing out now for over a century on camera. There's 1987’s The Lost Boys, in which a particularly bejeweled punk vampire yells, “Garlic don’t work, boys!” as he is splashed with a skin-singeing, garlic-and-holy-water combo, and a series of nine garlic-tinged Dracula films (Brides of Dracula, anyone?) created by the British production company Hammer. There’s Leslie Nielsen covering his nose and lamenting, “Ah! Ew! Garlic!” in Mel Brook’s goofy 1995 film, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and even spooky, garlicky teen flicks like Rockula, which features a mopey young vampire (and rock star wannabe) who actually—twist!—loves garlic. (Alas, garlic doesn’t play a major role in the Twilight series, but as long as the author is still writing prequels and sequels, I say there’s still time for a little hat tip to the pungent bulb.) Garlic finds its way into the spotlight (and Sunday dinner) frequently in Martin Scorsese movies, including starring in one of the most culinarily reverent scenes ever committed to film: the Goodfellas prison cooking montage. “In prison, dinner was always a big thing. We had a pasta course and then we had a meat or fish. Paulie...was doing a year for contempt, and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic. He used a razor and sliced it so thin it would liquefy in the pan with just a little oil. It was a very good system.” says narrator Henry Hill in a voiceover, as garlic is cut with all the tenderness and finesse of a five-star chef—in the confines of a jail cell that puts most first apartments to shame. Not to be outdone, the extended family of television’s most complicated mob boss, Tony Soprano, also demonstrate time and again that they know their way around a garlic clove, and in 2002’s The Sopranos Family Cookbook, there’s even an entire section devoted to how to properly cut garlic— complete with Goodfellas reference. But it’s documentarian Les Blank who wins the prize for the most garlicky of all garlic films: 1980’s Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers. The title (which is taken from the old saying, “Garlic is as good as ten mothers for

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In his infamous autobiography, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain writes, “Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime.... Please, treat your garlic with respect.”

keeping the girls away”) was filmed at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California in the late 1970s and features more bulbs-per-frame than have ever been seen before or since on the silver screen. Blank, who is better known regionally for his legendary work capturing the heart of both New Orleans and Cajun culture through films like Always for Pleasure (1978), Dry Wood (1973) and Hot Pepper (1973), turned his thoughtful lens on the culture surrounding garlic’s rise to prominence in Northern California during a time when getting back in touch with nature through gardening, organic ingredients and a deeper appreciation for local foodways was on the rise. Humor abounds in the documentary, and from giant, floppy garlic-shaped hats, to “fight mouthwash, eat garlic” bumper stickers, to a social club known as the Order of the Stinking Rose, the film captures garlic’s role in a larger social movement with levity and wit. Blank even suggested that when the movie was shown, the projectionist should start roasting garlic in the back of the theater when the movie began so that by the middle of the film, the audience would have the fragrant scent of garlic wafting through the aisles. (Smell-o-vision at its finest!) And if all this talk of garlic festivals has you worried you have missed out on the fun, never fear. Gilroy’s garlic festival is one of several each year in North America, including other odiferous events in Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, South Florida and Mystic, Connecticut. There’s sure to be a garlic-lover’s celebration somewhere (relatively) nearby. GARLIC IN CUISINE Last—but certainly not least—is garlic’s role as a culinary dynamo: peeled, smashed, roasted, and sautéed into meals the world over and at the very core of flavoring dishes from Italian-American pomodoro sauce to Mexican sopa de ajo (garlic soup).

With so much weight and heady reverence given to garlic outside the kitchen—through medicinal uses, as a spiritual talisman and a focal point of literature—appreciating the intrinsic value of garlic as an ingredient when preparing a meal is critical. Always buy garlic bulbs whole and keep store-bought cloves at room temperature in a dark, dry place like a pantry or cupboard. If you get your hands on ultra-fresh garlic at the farmer’s market, that should go in the refrigerator and be eaten within a week. Using a garlic press might seem like an ultra-easy shortcut if you’re adding crushed garlic to a dish, but mincing by hand always produces a mellower flavor. Bonus? The hand-cut garlic is much less likely to burn when cooking. And speaking of burning, avoid charring your garlic by always toasting it over low heat—turning it up a notch, unfortunately, isn’t going to result in the fragrant aroma you seek. And whether you’re stir-frying Cantonesestyle greens, whipping up an aioli or making a Provençal pistou, reflecting on the profound ways in which garlic has shaped global cuisine, history and lifestyle while cooking will bring a deeper level of appreciation for this ingredient that’s long been, rightfully, placed upon a pedestal. After all, it’s no wonder that in Cajun cooking, the Holy Trinity is onion, celery and bell pepper, but garlic is “the pope.”

We get our garlic from Spice World, which was founded in New Orleans over 70 years ago by Andy "Pops" Caneza. Today three generations of his family grow, harvest and package the garlic we sell at Rouses.​


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Recipes 32 Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic 34 Garlic Confit Garlic Confit Butter

Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons 36 Paella 38 Oven Roasted Garlic Spicy Crawfish Boil Butter 40 Spaghetti & Meatballs with Italian Sausage


y great-great-grandparents, Anthony and Marie, and their two children immigrated to America from Sardinia in 1900. My great-grandfather, Joseph, was barely a year old when they arrived at Ellis Island, New York. Joseph, or J.P., as everyone called him, would go on to found the City Produce Company in Thibodaux, Louisiana. His son—my grandfather, Anthony J. Rouse—would open our family’s first grocery store in Houma, Louisiana, in 1960. My great-great-grandparents were among the 4,000,000 Italian immigrants who came to America between the 1880s and the 1920s. They held onto their distinct Italian culture through their cooking. But there was no way to get all the Italian ingredients they were used to, so they adapted recipes to what they could find in local markets. They ended up creating an entirely new cuisine: Italian-American. Shrimp scampi, baked ziti, chicken parmigiana and, surprisingly, even spaghetti & meatballs and garlic bread, are authentic Italian-American dishes—not authentic Italian.

– Donny Rouse, CEO, 3rd Generation

42 Shrimp Scampi Garlic Bread 44 Stuffed Artichokes



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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Makes 6-8 servings Our version of this classic recipe uses peeled garlic, which adds an intense garlic flavor.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3 whole heads of garlic, about 40 cloves 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Dash grated nutmeg ²⁄₃ cup olive oil 8 chicken drumsticks 8 chicken thighs 4 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch sticks 2 cups chopped yellow onion 6 parsley sprigs 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon 1/2 cup dry vermouth Freshly sliced Rouses French Bread, for serving HOW TO PREP: Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them, skins on, into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375◦F. Mix the salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour the oil into a shallow dish and add the chicken pieces; toss to coat evenly with oil. In a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof casserole dish with lid, combine the celery, onions, parsley and tarragon. Lay the oiled chicken pieces on top. Add the vermouth. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and nutmeg mix. Tuck the garlic cloves in and around the chicken. Cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil, then the lid. Bake for 90 minutes, tightly covered. Serve hot with sliced French bread for dipping into the sauce and spreading with roasted garlic cloves.

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Makes about 1/2 cup

Garlic Confit

Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 30 garlic cloves, about 3 heads, peeled, root ends trimmed

Makes 4 servings Instead of using raw egg yolk, we used a coddled egg. This gentle cooking method and the addition of lemon juice help cook the egg and give the dressing a creamy texture.

HOW TO PREP: Place garlic in a small saucepan and add oil just to cover. Bring to a bare simmer—a couple of small bubbles breaking through the surface every 2 to 3 seconds—over low heat. Reduce heat as needed; tiny bubbles should surround the garlic, but it should not be actively frying. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Let the garlic cool in the oil for at least 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. Spread this on sandwiches, stir into mashed potatoes, or slip it under chicken skin before roasting.

Garlic Confit Butter Makes about 1/2 cup

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 30 cloves garlic confit, see recipe above 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley Salt, to taste HOW TO PREP: In small bowl, mash garlic confit with a spatula to form a smooth paste. Add butter, salt, and parsley, and continue to mash until combined into a smooth spread. Season with salt to taste.

Our Sicilian and Organic Sicilian Olive Oils won Silver Medals at the 2020 New York International Olive Oil Competition, the most prestigious olive oil competition in the world. Both carry the special label of Val di Mazara “Denomination of Protected Origin” (DOP, or Protected Designation of Origin/PDO). That label means that all parts of the product’s creation process — from crushing the olives to bottling — were completed within the designated, historic geographic area (in this case, Sicily). It’s an honor awarded to only a handful of products, and olive oil is the only class of food in Europe that’s legally allowed to carry the word “traditional” on its packaging.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 romaine lettuce hearts, trimmed, washed and dried 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt, separated 1/2 teaspoon pepper, separated 4 ounces ciabatta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) 1 large egg 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese HOW TO PREP: Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350◦F. Cut the romaine lettuce into 1-inch pieces: First cut off the core and then cut each romaine heart in half lengthwise. Cut the halves in half lengthwise. Finally, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Stir 1/4 cup of the oil, half of the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper together in large bowl. Add ciabatta cubes and toss to combine. Transfer seasoned ciabatta cubes to rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown, about 18 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Crack the egg into a small bowl or large spoon and gently transfer to the simmering water. Cook for 60 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the water and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Put the coddled egg in a bowl and add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, anchovies, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining garlic. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 1/2 cup oil until emulsified. Whisk in grated Parmesan. Add lettuce, croutons, and shredded Parmesan to bowl with dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. W W W. R O U S E S . C O M 3 5

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Paella Makes 4-6 servings The main ingredients in a sofrito are onions, garlic, bell peppers — sound familiar? — and tomato, which are cooked down until sweet and caramelized. We used cured chorizo, which is traditional in paellas, but fresh chorizo will add more flavor. Think of it like jambalaya, which is made with andouille, versus dirty rice made with ground meat and livers.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, separated 4 teaspoons oregano, separated 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieced 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 Marciante’s Spanish Chorizo Sausages, thickly sliced 1 pound Rouses Green Onion Smoked Sausage Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 Spanish onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, crushed Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish) 1 (10-ounce) can ROTEL Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained 4 cups arborio or bomba rice, or other short-grained rice 6 cups water, warm Generous pinch saffron threads, turmeric or Maggi All Purpose Seasoning 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed 1 pound jumbo Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed Lemon wedges, for serving HOW TO PREP: Combine 1 tablespoon of the paprika and 2 teaspoons of the oregano in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or seal in an airtight container. Refrigerate seasoned chicken for 1 hour. Heat olive oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chorizo until browned; remove and reserve. Sauté the sausage until browned; remove and reserve. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve. In the same pan, sauté the onions, garlic, and parsley in olive oil. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on medium heat. Then add the ROTEL tomatoes to make a sofrito, and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Return the chorizo, smoked sausage and chicken to the pan. Fold in the rice and saffron, and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the seafood is cooked and rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for about 45 seconds, until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom. Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.

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Oven Roasted Garlic Makes 8-12 cloves

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 large head garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Rouses French Bread, for serving HOW TO PREP: Preheat oven to 400◦F. Slice off the top of the head of garlic. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in a shallow dish. Roast until golden and soft, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze out garlic cloves into a serving bowl. In an airtight container, roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months. To serve, spread roasted garlic on warm Rouses French Bread.

Spicy Crawfish Boil Butter Makes about 3 cups

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 pound (4 sticks) butter 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 lemon, juiced Rouses Down the Bayou Seafood Boil Mix, to taste HOW TO PREP: Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and translucent, stirring constantly so the garlic and butter don’t burn. Add the lemon juice, remaining butter, and the Rouses Down the Bayou Seafood Boil Mix to taste. Simmer until the butter is melted, stirring constantly. Pour over hot boiled crawfish, or serve on the side for dipping.

There’s olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and then there’s Olio Novello, the first batch of oil made from the year’s olive harvest, and the most coveted style of olive oil we sell. Our exclusive Olio Novello is made in Sciacca, Sicily, in the Val Di Mazara Region. Green olives are picked early and pressed immediately, which preserves the flavor and aroma of the olive fruit. The oil is then bottled unfiltered, so it’s green and clear. This is truly the most flavorful of all olive oils.

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There are only two ingredients in authentic dried Italian pasta: water and hard durumwheat flour, which is called semola di grano duro in Italian and semolina in English. There are no additives or preservatives.

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Spaghetti & Meatballs with Italian Sausage Makes 8 servings Italians usually eat meatballs—called polpettes—on their own, served plain or in a light soup broth as the main course of a meal. Cooks here paired them with spaghetti and canned tomatoes, which were some of the only Italian ingredients available in American markets.

FOR THE MEATBALLS WHAT YOU WILL NEED: ²⁄₃ cup crumbled day-old Rouses French Bread 6 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature 2 eggs 1 cup freshly grated ParmigianoReggiano cheese 1 pound ground pork 1 pound lean ground beef 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 green onions, finely chopped 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup olive oil, divided HOW TO PREP: In a medium bowl combine the bread, milk, egg, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir well to combine and allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Add the ground pork and beef and the salt. Fold in both onions, parsley, salt and pepper, then add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and use your hands to gently combine. Roll heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture into balls. (If you don’t have a measuring spoon, these should be about the size of golf balls.) Place the meatballs neatly on nonstick sheet pans and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to chill. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, or enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add as many meatballs as the pan will allow without overcrowding, working in batches if needed. Brown the meatballs on all sides, rotating as needed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a plate when they are browned on all sides. Continue until all the meatballs are browned.

FOR THE SAUCE WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 10 ounces pancetta, diced 1 pound Rouses Italian Sausage 4 tablespoons Rouses Sicilian Olive Oil 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped Salt, to taste 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes 1 6-ounce can tomato paste 2 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, certified D.O.P., hand crushed Pinch Rouses Italian Seasoning Pinch sugar 1 cup red wine, like Chianti 2 pounds Rouses Authentic Italian Spaghetti 1 cup grated Romano cheese HOW TO PREP: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and brown, then remove. Brown the sausage, then remove. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet and add onions. Sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the carrot and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until tomatoes turn orange. Add crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar and red wine. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered over mediumlow heat until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover the pan. Allow to simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, boil the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Toss the spaghetti with the meatballs, sausage and sauce in the skillet, adding some of the reserved pasta water until the pasta is moist. Season with salt to taste. Toss with the grated cheese.

Experience an authentic taste of Italy without leaving your kitchen. Look for “Denomination of Protected Origin” (DOP, or Protected Designation of Origin/PDO) certification on the can. That guarantees that the tomatoes are of the San Marzano variety, where they are grown (San Marzano, Italy) and how they are grown, harvested and packed. Each step is regulated.

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Shrimp Scampi Makes 4 servings Seafood dishes are found all over Italy, especially in Southern Italy and the islands, Sardinia and Sicily. (The Italian term frutti di mare, “fruit of the sea,” refers to seafood.) Scampi are small, shrimp-like crustaceans that are part of the lobster family, also called langoustines. In Italy, they are traditionally served sautéed with olive oil, garlic, onion and white wine. When the Italians arrived in America, where shrimp was plentiful and scampi unavailable, they swapped shrimp for scampi, but they kept the word scampi to describe the preparation of the dish.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons sugar 11/2 pounds shell-on, extra-large, wild-caught raw Gulf shrimp (26 to 30 per pound) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 11/2 cups of dry white wine 4 sprigs fresh thyme 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon cornstarch 8 garlic cloves, sliced thin 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 baguette or Rouses French Bread loaf, sliced, for serving 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving HOW TO PREP: To peel and devein shrimp, first pull of the head, then peel the shell away from the flesh, starting underneath where the swimming legs are attached. Then, gently pull the meat from tail. Make a shallow incision down the back of shrimp, then use tip of paring knife to remove vein. Set shells and tails aside. Dissolve salt and sugar in a quart of cold water in large container. Place cleaned shrimp in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and tails and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and the bottom of the skillet starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and slowly pour in wine. Add the thyme sprigs. When bubbling subsides, return the skillet to medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through colander set

over large bowl. Discard shells and reserve liquid; you should have about ²⁄₃ cup. Wipe out your skillet with paper towels. Mix lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes and pepper in skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown at edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved wine mixture, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add shrimp, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a bowl. Return skillet to medium heat, add lemon juice cornstarch mixture, and cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and parsley until combined. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to skillet and toss to combine. Serve with baguette slices and lemon quarters.

Garlic Bread Makes 4 servings

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 1 baguette or Rouses French Bread loaf, split lengthwise 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley HOW TO PREP: Adjust your oven rack to the top position and turn on the broiler. Melt butter in a microwave safe dish in the microwave, covered, for about 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic and continue to microwave, covered, until mixture is bubbling around edges, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. Place bread, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the bread under the broiler. Remove bread when it is golden brown in color and sides are just crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Brush bread liberally with the garlic butter, then sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Return to broiler and cook until the cheese is bubbly and the butter mixture has melted and seeped into bread, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the garlic bread from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Transfer to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut into slices. Serve immediately.

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Local Italian-Americans build elaborate altars to honor the relief of St. Joseph, husband to the Virgin Mary and earthly father figure of Jesus, provided during a famine in Sicily. The tradition began in the late 1800s when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans. (The St. Joseph’s Altar is a Sicilian tradition dating back to the Middle Ages.) The Feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19. Italians celebrate Father’s Day the same day.

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Stuffed Artichokes Makes 6 servings Meatless stuffed artichokes are a familiar part of the St. Joseph Feast Day, with browned and seasoned bread crumbs, or mudrica, representing the sawdust of St. Joseph, a carpenter. While we associate stuffed artichokes with Sicily, where some say artichokes originated, the dish was more likely created by Sicilian-Americans in New Orleans.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 6 large artichokes 6 lemons 10 cups dry Italian seasoned bread crumbs 3 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1 cup finely grated Romano cheese 1 cup finely chopped green onions 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano 16-20 garlic cloves, finely minced 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 21/2 to 3 cups olive oil 6 lemon slices 1 dash lemon juice or white vinegar Optional: 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste HOW TO PREP: Using scissors, trim off the pointed ends of each artichoke and rub a lemon on the cut ends to prevent browning. Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the choke and the hairy portion of each artichoke, leaving a cavity in the center for stuffing. Trim the stems to about 1/2 inch so they stand up straight in the pan. Combine all the ingredients, except the artichokes and lemon slices, in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of the olive oil and mix well until the mixture has the texture of stuffing. One at a time, spread the leaves of each artichoke open, beginning with the outer leaves and progressing towards the middle, without breaking them. Tuck as much stuffing as possible down into each leaf, pressing lightly to compact the stuffing and tapping the artichoke to let any loose stuffing fall off. Stand the artichokes in a casserole that is stovetop safe, or in a metal roasting pan just large enough to hold a single layer. Add water to a depth of 11/2 inches and pour a generous amount of olive oil over each artichoke, letting it seep in. Juice a fresh lemon over each artichoke. Top each with a slice of lemon. On the stovetop, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and steam the artichokes, tightly covered, for 45 minutes to an hour or until the leaves pull away easily and the pith — the tender, edible flesh at the base of each leaf — is soft. Check occasionally to see if it’s necessary to add more water, but cover tightly each time. When the artichokes are done, remove from the casserole with tongs or a large slotted spoon. Serve hot or warm.

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