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A little history of garlics and Provençal aïoli

A small aioli with vegetables | JPS68 / CC-BY-SA

What’s this?

Everybody knows this famous Provencal garlic mayonnaise, whose name comes from the French word ail (″garlic″) and the Provencal one oli, ″oil″.

People eat it with cold meat, eggs, or a simple piece of bread…

They make the ″big aioli″ 3 times in the year, it’s a special meal for celebrations: we can eat it with boiled cod and eggs, vegetables and snails. Yum!

The little history

In Antic times, people used garlic as a medicine. Pliny said it was good against the consumption.

But garlic had also a bad reputation: those who ate too much could not enter in a temple dedicated to Cybele! Why? Because of the smell, maybe?

In the Middle Ages, people ate plenty of garlic. Especially in Southern France.

They ate a kind of sauce named aillée (made of garlic, almonds, bread and broth).

Medieval recipes suggested ″a garlic sauce with milk″, another sauce made of garlic, ginger and broth… and even a sauce with garlic and mustard. Ancestor of our aioli?

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!