TV Shows & Podcasts

In the Library with Toni Tipton-Martin: The Origins of 40 Cloves of Garlic Recipes

In this video, Toni Tipton-Martin explains the start of the concept of simmering meat with 40 cloves of garlic.

Published Aug. 23, 2023.

Richard Olney was an American painter who moved to France in the 1950s and fell in love with Provençal cuisine and turned into a food writer.  

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One of his cookbooks was called Simple French Food (1974) in which he encouraged people to improvise to their own tastes and rely on good ingredients. This book contained a recipe for chicken, oil, salt, a bouquet garni (a bunch of herbs and other aromatics bound in cheesecloth), and a whopping four whole heads of garlic, all braised together. The dish was Olney’s interpretation of the classic poule au pot (chicken in a pot), a centuries-old pillar of French cuisine.  

Even a little before this book was released back in America, French cooking was making its way onto American tables. In 1954, James Beard published a similar Provençal-inspired recipe that made garlic the headliner by specifying exactly 40 cloves for the preparation. 

Cook's Country's Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin gives a more detailed story in the video below. 

And check out our recipe for Roast Pork Loin with 40 Cloves of Garlic inspired by this concept, which gives the 40-clove treatment to juicy pork roast.  

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