Thursday, 20 October 2011

Wine and spookghetti

Vampire Vineyards recommends serving my wine with 'rich red pasta dishes'. So, keeping with the wine's vampire theme, I thought I'd find a recipe for an appropriate pasta dish to go with it.

The 'net being—well, the 'net—I found one. It's called 'Anti-vampire spaghetti.' Why 'anti-vampire'? You're supposed to add a staggering '10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped'.

I was once asked why vampires fear garlic. According to Paul Barber, 'strong-smelling substances are typical apotropaics in the lore of the vampire: garlic, incense, perfume, green nutshells, cow dung, human feces, and juniper. The idea here seems to be to "fight fire with fire"'1, i.e. to counteract the vampire's stench with another one. But he also notes 'Garlic . . . is often stuffed into the mouth of the putative vampire at burials, and it is difficult to see how this can be anything but a charm intended to thwart his evil purpose.'2

He also suggests it might be put in a vampire's mouth 'to give the revenant something to chew on or to prevent chewing or blood-sucking entirely.'3 I'd say it's little from column A and a little from column B.

Anyway, the recipe says 'There will be no fear of vampires bothering you after this dinner!' I doubt anyone else will, either.

1. P Barber, Vampires, burial, and death: folklore and reality, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1988, p. 131.

2. ibid., p. 132.

3. ibid., p. 157.


dbaymiller said...

Loved reading Barber's book. As a former Mortuary student I found it interesting. That galic laced spaghetti...shudder.

Anthony Hogg said...

Paul Barber's book is invaluable for vampire studies. Definitely one of the best.

As to to the garlic laced spag, it's not so much the garlic as the ten cloves worth. I don't even know if that's edible.

Maybe we'll find out...

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