Garlic has a long history in Romania, and while it's challenging to pinpoint its exact origins, it's likely that garlic was cultivated in the region for thousands of years. It probably arrived through ancient trade routes connected with Asia, where garlic originated. In Romanian folklore, garlic is often associated with warding off evil, including vampires like Dracula. This association is immortalized in Bram Stoker's novel, where garlic is used as a protective element against the vampire count.
The mystical aspect of garlic in Romanian culture is deeply rooted. Beyond its culinary uses, it's considered a powerful tool against negative energies and is used in various rituals. Garlic is hung above doorways, woven into wreaths, or even placed under pillows to protect against malevolent spirits. This blend of history, folklore, and culinary importance makes garlic an iconic ingredient in both the tangible and supernatural aspects of Romanian life.