If any of kitchengardenjapan’s Japan readership happen to frequent izakaya – particularly the sort of run down, degenerate izakaya that this locale offers – and got past the “chopsticks jozu, desu ne” from the neighbouring souse, and somehow arrived on the topic of garlic (stranger things have happened at sea), you’ll no doubt be familiar with the following pantomime:
“Ninniku, eh? Heh! Heh! Heh! Makes you strong!” (Grabs bicep and throws fist up in a fast, thrusting motion) “Strong! Strong! Like a horse! Heh! Heh! Heh!”
Cue: Slobber, wink, grimace, brows wriggled and eyes rolled in lusty recollection.
… And then tip of a glass and a bit more thrusting. “Heh! Heh! Heh! Like a horse!” Chuckle.
Now despite being a man all for international relations, quick to parley and raconteur (see what I did there?) in alcoholic situations, I must admit the first couple of times this happened, I had absolutely no idea what these geezers were talking about. But I as you do, I whinnied and laughed along.
Eventually I found out that garlic is regarded by izakaya geezers to be a “stamina” inducing aphrodisiac, that ninniku makes one a goliath in the boudoiur, a stallion in the stable , a stud between the sheets.
Let’s hope the old geezers are right.