(Leeks via Wikimedia Commons)
In the recent NY Times Dining section there is a great article (by noted food author Harold McGee) about a new book by Harold Block called Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. A
apparently it's a little technical (and a little pricey), but McGee's article breaks down some interesting stuff about these ubiquitous kitchen-dwellers.
Alliums, the plant family that includes onions, garlic, and leeks (among others), have been used by humans as food for... well, a long time. But did you know that they can damage the red blood cells of dogs and cats? Or that the sulfur-based compounds that give garlic its distinctive taste can get into your mouth if you rub a clove on the bottom of your foot? Go try it RIGHT NOW! (And tell me how that works out for you...)