Why This “Date-Friendly” Garlic Will Never Set Foot in My Kitchen

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Nobody enjoys bad breath. Whether you have it, or are around someone who ate something a little funky for lunch, it’s not pleasant. Garlic in particular gets a bad rap for being the cause of a lot of smelly situations, so it comes as a surprise to no one that someone would go ahead and make garlic that doesn’t make your breath smell bad. But is it really worth the drawbacks?

Allicin, a compound found in garlic that gives it its pungent flavor and scent, is the cause of the bad breath you get after eating your favorite garlicky foods. Armed with this knowledge, two Italian farmers rescued an ancient allicin-free heirloom variety from near extinction and started marketing it under the name KissinGarlic. It seems appropriate when you consider the fact that it supposedly doesn’t cause bad breath, but I’m not sold. When you lose the allicin, you lose a lot of the flavor … so is it really worth it?

Admittedly, garlic breath kisses aren’t my favorite kisses, but I don’t think I could date — or be friends with — anyone who couldn’t handle an occasional bout of garlic breath. Really, a true friend would tell you your breath smells rank anyway and hand you a stick of gum, right? When it comes down to it, I’m not at all ashamed of my love of garlic, and it’s not something I would hide on a date — even a first date — or at a brunch with my friends. It’s like Marilyn Monroe said: “If you can’t handle me at my garlicky-est, then you don’t deserve me at my minty freshest.” At least, I think she said something like that.

Just the thought of life without that punchy, in-your-face, gotta-have-it flavor that makes so many dishes so craveable and obsession-worthy (hello, garlic bread) is making me sad. The lack of “oomph” has to be why this particular strain of garlic fell out of favor and nearly went extinct anyway, don’t you think?

I’ll be sticking with regular garlic for now. What about you?

Read more: Date-Friendly Garlic Won’t Cause Bad Breath from Food & Wine