Celebrating national garlic month

Some of New York City’s swankiest Italian restaurants are decreasing or completely cutting out the use of garlic because people are worried about their breath.

Thomas Makkos, the owner of Nello, a celebrity favourite on the Upper East Side, told the New York Post that the customers had complained that “it was smelly and gassy.”

He also said he banned the pungent ingredient in the Summer of 2020 and cited face mask usage.

“Imagine eating a meal with garlic and putting a mask on. You’re breathing your own bad breath." Some regular customers miss the garlic, and the kitchen will accommodate them.

The outlet also spoke with Nicola Fedeli, an executive chef of a northern Italian restaurant Fasano in Midtown. Fedeli said he rarely uses garlic for the cuisine, and cooking with minced garlic isn’t that Italian.

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“Garlic in Italy, as it relates to fine dining, is used to perfume rather than to accentuate or mask flavours.”

Instead of chopping up the garlic, he said that cloves are utilised but taken out before serving the food.

Fideli also added that chopping up garlic overpowers the flavour and "takes away from the purpose of the dish."

Arrigo Cipriani, the proprietor of the elegant restaurant Cipriani, also told The Post that the cloves have “never been a part” of the cuisine.

“Nothing should be overpowering, and real flavors should not be covered by a strong taste that’s difficult to digest.”

Despite the qualms with garlic, other restaurants don’t want to give it up.

Jeff Zalaznick, a co-founder of Major Food Group, told the outlet that his company is for garlic.

“It’s one of the most important ingredients in our cooking. We love it,” he said.

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