Rome's trendiest chefs and diners are trash-talking garlic, contending it's time to replace the smelly bulb, and claiming it overpowers everything it touches, NPR reports. Once the only tool peasant farmers had to flavor their meager meals, garlic should give way to a subtle array of flavors available in an increasingly sophisticated Italy, they argue.
Garlic also carries "second-class" connotations for people who smell of the herb, said one restaurateur. Clearly, not everyone agrees in a nation that consumed 108 million pounds of garlic last year. "What are we supposed to eat, shallots?" demands a garlic vendor. "Will that make us more elegant? More French?"