Food Theory: No, Vampires DON’T Hate Garlic! (Halloween)

*Trick or Treat?* πŸŽƒ See the SECRET hiding in your Halloween Candy β–Ί Dracula, Edward Cullen, Count Chocula… they’re all vampires who have one thing in common: they hate garlic! Or, DO they? You see, Loyal Theorist, it’s a lie we’ve been told all of these years. They don’t actually hate garlic! But, where does this all originate? It’s certainly not Transylvania! So let’s suck some blood out of this theory… ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ *πŸ”½ Don’t Miss Out!* Get Your TheoryWear! β–Ί Dive into the Reddit! β–Ί Need Royalty Free Music for your Content? Try Epidemic Sound. Get Your 30 Day Free Trial Now β–Ί ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ *πŸ‘€ Watch MORE Theories:* Count Chocula’s Shameful Past! β–Ίβ–Ί Sugar Doesn’t Make Kids Hyper?! β–Ίβ–Ί Haunted Candy Commercials β–Ίβ–Ί ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ *Join Our Other YouTube Channels!* β€‹πŸ•ΉοΈ @GameTheory ​πŸŽ₯ @FilmTheory πŸ‘” @StyleTheorists ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ *Credits:* Writers: Matthew Patrick, Santi Massa, and Brett Turley Editors: Jerika (NekoOnigiri), Warak, and AbsolutePixel Sound Designer: Yosi Berman Thumbnail Artist: DasGnomo ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ #Halloween #Vampire #Vampires #Garlic #GarlicRecipe #HalloweenFood #HalloweenFoods #HalloweenCostume #HalloweenCostumes #Spooky #Scary #Theory #FoodTheory #Matpat

The Food Theorists

3 months ago

In horror movies, there are three rules to live by: always double-tap a zombie, never feed a gremlin after midnight, and always load up on garlic before facing down a vampire. But why? What is it about garlic specifically out of all the other root vegetables out there that makes it so effective against vampires? And more importantly, if I don't like the smell of garlic, are there other foods that could potentially protect me from a late-night bite? No, this is not a joke, and it's also not a dri
ll. Today, we're breaking down the real-life science of real, fictional vampires so that you don't accidentally turn yourself into a midnight snack. Believe it or not, there are answers here, and let me tell you, they're not what you'd expect. Hello, Internet! Welcome to Food Theory, the channel that goes batty for food science. So sink your teeth into that subscribe button for a bloody good time. By the way, rumor has it that when I tell you to do that, the subscribe button should actually glow
. It's actually supposedly a new feature that they just added to YouTube, so let's just try this. Not exactly sure how it works, I'm just supposed to say it like, SUBSCRIBE TO THE CHANNEL! Did anything glow? Did something work there? Now if you press the subscribe button, it's supposed to explode into some graphic. Even if you're already subscribed, do me a favor, unsubscribe, and then press it again, just so you can see what is going on with this thing. Let me know down in the comments below, w
hat did you see happen? I have not seen anyone use this tool yet, so I am very curious what it actually looks like. Gotta love YouTube just milking your brain for every last hit of dopamine it's got. So anyway, today we're sinking our teeth into the mystery of garlic and vampires. It is such a random piece of horror lore, and yet we all know it. Vampires can't stand garlic, but why? Why garlic specifically and not other root vegetables like onions, carrots, or beets? Or maybe other seasonings li
ke sage or cilantro? I can imagine it now, a vampire just being scared off by your street taco. Oh, the cilantro tastes too soapy to me. So to truly peel back this clove of conspiracy, we first have to go back to the roots. Where did this garlic myth originate? Then we can look at why garlic was chosen and what makes it so special relative to other foods. Once we've got a handle on that, it'll be time to see if anything else can fill its place in the vampire hunt. And lastly, well, let's just sa
y there might be more misinformation to this myth than first meets the eye. Vampires have more or less been a key part of human superstition since antiquity. And different versions of these blood-sucking undead monsters appear in cultures across the globe. So it goes without saying that what we know as vampires today have evolved a lot with time. For instance, many historians consider the Egyptian feline goddess Sekhmet to be the very first vampire myth. As the story goes, the sun god Ra sent hi
s daughter Sekhmet down to punish humankind for their disobedience. And Sekhmet did this by drinking everyone's blood. Mm-mm, good to the last drop. Eventually, Ra had to calm her down, so he dyed a bunch of beer red, thereby tricking her into thinking it was blood. At which point she got blotto and had to sleep the whole thing off for a couple of days. Other historians place the earliest vampire myths under the Brahma Purusha or the Vatala from India, which are spirits that possess corpses in c
emeteries and then hang upside down like bats. You've also got yourself the Jiangshi, or hopping vampires, from Chinese folklore, which feast not on blood, but a different type of life force, your qi. The point is, there is a potential origin point to vampires in dozens of countries across the world dating back potentially thousands of years. But the folklore most influential to our modern-day conception of the monster comes from the Slavic UpiΓ³r or the Romanian Strigoi. UpiΓ³rs were vengeful spi
rits that possessed corpses, usually the corpses of loved ones, that would then puppet the bodies to enact a jealous revenge across the living. To maintain themselves, they had to ingest the blood of the living, absorbing their life force in the process. The Strigoi were very similar, poltergeists that could take physical form by piloting corpses. Strigoi also had magical powers like the ability to shapeshift into animals or mist, two other classic abilities eventually given to Dracula and other
vampires. Eventually, when Eastern European folklore started being documented throughout the 17th century, you started to see the appearance of a new word associated with these creatures, Vampir, becoming Vampyre with a "Y" in 1732. That said, it was John Polidori's short story, The Vampyre, in 1819 that truly was the first inflection point for these creatures, transforming them from demons and ghouls into suave, charismatic aristocrats with a thirst for blood. And then finally, 80 years later,
their break would come, when Bram Stoker's Dracula brought vampires into the pop-cultural spotlight. And this right here is when Garlic finally enters into the story. One of Stoker's major contributions to vampire lore was solidifying the notion that Garlic was an absolutely crucial tool for scaring away vampires. But again, I ask, why? Where exactly did that whole idea come from? Did Bram just have himself a bad experience at Ye Olde Olive Garden? The short answer is that Europeans had a long-
standing belief that Garlic would repel evil spirits. While Garlic could help ward off Strigoi revenants after they'd risen, Garlic was mostly considered to be a preventative tool. By burying bodies with Garlic in their mouths, they believed that the spirit-repelling powers of Garlic would stop malevolent entities from possessing rotting bodies in the first place. And their faith in Garlic wasn't entirely misplaced. You see, Garlic has a long-standing history of being a super plant. Countless cu
ltures venerate Garlic as magical, because when we get down to it, it really kinda is. Garlic is just really, really good for you, and just really, really bad for your breath. One of Garlic's main active components is allicin, which is the juice that gives Garlic that distinctive smell. You might remember allicin from our episode all about how to cut an onion without crying. You see, that yellow, oily liquid produced when you damage the tissue of the Garlic, that's technically a defense mechanis
m used by the plant to ward off pests with its strong smell. But then us humans decided it'd probably be tasty on breadsticks, so I guess it wasn't that good of a defense mechanism after all. Anyway, thanks to allicin, Garlic has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, meaning it both prevents illnesses and aids in recovery. It can also be used to expel parasitic worms and lower your blood pressure. On top of all of those benefits, Garlic is also claimed to have helped control outbreaks of chol
era, typhoid fever, diphtheria, even the Spanish flu. And at the very first Olympic Games, Garlic was there, being eaten by athletes along the sidelines right before the competition, making it arguably the very first performance-enhancing drug. Basically, Garlic is like the world's first-ever catch-all super drug. It's also worth noting that talk of Garlic's health benefits peaked at the same time people were blaming vampires for their health problems. Basically, stories of vampires often come f
rom periods of time where blood diseases and plagues are sweeping through populations. Remember, the concept of germs wasn't really understood for much of human history, so vampire myths were a means to explain these seemingly cursed coincidences that were killing off members of the family. Sure, this might seem silly now, but remember, the way they detected witches back in the day was to throw the suspect into a river tied to a rock. If that suspect drowned, well, congratulations, they were inn
ocent, but dead. If they happened to make it out of that death trap, they were clearly a witch, and then had to be burned alive at the stake, dead again. Just big brain moves all across the spectrum there. Good job, humanity. You did it. Plagues, though, weren't the only illnesses thought to be misinterpreted as vampiric curses throughout history. The group of rare blood disorders called porphyria, for instance, have symptoms that present themselves as oddly vampiric. Basically, porphyria affect
s the blood's ability to transport oxygen throughout the body. And although porphyria can be treated and managed with modern medicines, its symptoms were absolutely brutal. Unfortunately, most early suspected vampires weren't lucky enough to sparkle in the sunlight like Edward Cullen. Porphyria causes sensitivity to light, which often made those who had it retreat from the day, lest they develop blisters and swollen red skin. Their inability to withstand daylight made their skin appear pale, and
porphyria even caused gums to recede and shrink, making their teeth appear more prominent. So you have people who are pale, they burn in sunlight, they have big teeth, and they stay mysteriously indoors. Sounds awfully familiar, right? Garlic may also have earned some anti-vampire cred for its ability to disrupt blood-sucking pests. For mosquitoes and ticks, the smell of garlic actually jams the insect's smell-based tracking capabilities, making it much more difficult for them to find potential
prey. So really, why does garlic work against vampires? There's actually a bunch of reasons, depending on the angle you look at it. Its properties are the original superfood, the lore of its scaring away spirits, the allicin it contains, its associations with blood diseases, the fact that it shuts down bloodsuckers like mosquitoes, and the myth of it attacking those with porphyria. This also means that chemically, other allicin-heavy foods like onion, shallots, leeks, and chives, they should al
l function against vampires in a pinch. Say you don't have an Italian restaurant and its dozens of cloves of fresh garlic readily available to you, you could just as easily grab an onion or a leek and scare that vampire away. Or at least, you could if garlic actually worked on vampires. That's right, forget everything you know about garlic and vampires, friends. It's all propaganda perpetuated by Big Dracula. Let's just reframe everything that we've talked about in this episode so far. Despite t
he evidence that garlic disrupts the tracking abilities of mosquitoes and ticks, there's conflicting evidence that proves the exact opposite of that. That real-life bloodsuckers are actually more attracted to the scent of garlic. In a 1994 study, for instance, researchers actually learned that leeches are more likely to suck the blood from a human hand slathered in garlic than a clean hand with zero tasty toppings. Additionally, garlic actually makes your blood easier to track. You know how garl
ic's known for making your breath smell? Well, it has a similar effect on your sweat glands. A 2020 study found that garlic's sulfuric properties increases the amount of body odor a person emits. You wanna guess where all that B.O. was coming out of? The most stinky chemicals were coming out of people's necks. You heard that right. Having garlic would actually turn your most vulnerable body part into a freshly baked garlic knot waiting to be bitten into. To make matters worse, remember how I sai
d garlic helps lower your blood pressure? It does this in two ways. The allicin in the garlic dilates the blood vessels while also slightly thinning the blood. Bigger vessels with less thick blood means that it can flow through your body faster. But do you know what that means if you're a vampire? It actually makes your veins easier to drain. In fact, real-life vampires actually do something like this already. Vampire bats actually have themselves a compound in their saliva named draculin. Dracu
lin acts as an anticoagulant, stopping the blood from clotting. This then makes the whole blood-drinking process easier because things are staying nice and fluid in there. So really, from a purely scientific standpoint, garlic ain't saving anyone from being an unwitting blood donor. But what about all those spiritual properties that we talked about? Well, while some cultures revere the plant as a gift of immortality from the gods, other ancient cultures believe that garlic is a bit more unholy.
According to Turkish legend, garlic sprouted from the left footprint of Satan just moments after he was cast out of heaven. So that, my friends, is why garlic smells like stinky feet. Because it came from the most hellishly stinky feet of them all. Even if we look at the cultures where garlic's considered to be holy, we run into yet another interesting hiccup. The traditions of using garlic for protection, they sprang up to protect us against ghosts, not vampires. But if all of this is true, if
garlic is truly making a vampire's job easier, why does it always seem to work so well with media? If garlic is doing all of these things to help the vampires, why are they so afraid of it? Well, the truth is, vampires aren't afraid of it. In fact, they never were. You see, more and more vampire lore is rejecting the whole scared by garlic thing these days. But it's not just the modern-day interpretations of the lore, either. If you go back to the original source material of Bram Stoker's Dracul
a, even he didn't intend for garlic bulbs to be the silver bullet against vampires. As it turns out, Stoker's Dracula never once mentions garlic cloves or bulbs. Go ahead, do a little quick Control-F for yourself on one of the many online manuscripts of the novel. It's out in the public domain. You'll find that when garlic does pop up in the story, it's actually the garlic flower that's mentioned, not garlic bulbs. Now that right there might sound like we're splitting hairs, but it actually make
s a massive difference in terms of chemical makeup. The garlic bulb is the part of the garlic plant that we're all familiar with, those little white paper bags with the stink pods. Those grow underground, and they serve as a storage organ for the plant. The garlic flower, on the other hand, is the above-ground flowering part of the plant produced as part of the reproductive process, long before that bulb underground is ready. As such, the flower is actually much milder, with the lower levels of
allicin, sulfur, and nutrients. Garlic bulbs were never actually intended to be a secret weapon at all. In short, the whole garlic weakness thing, it's a lie. In reality, garlic was born of Satan's feet, and is making you smell attractive to the vampires, making your neck especially smelly, and is making your veins into the equivalent of a big gulp for bloodsuckers. By wearing or eating garlic to repel the vampires, you're actually telling them that you're an all-you-can-eat buffet that's now op
en. But hey, that's just a theory. A food theory! Happy Halloween.