Garlic Nostalgia

For years I was sporadically troubled by localised skin irritation near the tip of my left index finger, and, less often (and to a lesser extent), on my middle finger and thumb. It came and went; oftener worse in winter than summer. None of the potential causes I could think of explained the peculiar positional specificity of it, until, at length, I realised that the parts affected were those that held the garlic cloves as I chopped them with the knife held in my right hand.

There had meanwhile been an increasing incidence of digestive turmoil, which, on reflection, had oftentimes correlated with meals prominently featuring garlic or other alliums. While I’ve had no formal diagnosis as confirmation, I strongly believe I have developed an allergy or sensitivity of some kind to these very delicious vegetables, and hence, with great regret, I began to forsake them. Perhaps I was lightly bitten at some point by an ineffectual vampire.

Show me a soup or stew made without garlic or onion, and it will be one I don’t want to eat. Removing alliums from my diet has severely cramped my culinary style. I feel better physically, but it makes me sad if I stop to think about it; and walking past a restaurant from which a garlicky aroma emanates will provoke in me a pungent pang of nostalgia for the cloven past.