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Garlic bread

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Garlic bread
A common variation of garlic bread
CourseEntree or side dish
Main ingredientsBread (typically a baguette), garlic, olive oil or butter
VariationsCheesy garlic bread, garlic knots, garlic pizza base, tomato bread
Garlic bread variation topped with mozzarella cheese

Garlic bread (also called garlic toast)[1] consists of bread (usually a baguette, sour dough, or bread such as ciabatta), topped with garlic and occasionally olive oil or butter and may include additional herbs, such as oregano or chives.[2] It is then either grilled until toasted or baked in a conventional or bread oven.[2]

It is typically made using a French baguette, or sometimes ciabatta which is partially sliced downwards, allowing the condiments to soak into the loaf while keeping it in one piece. The bread is then stuffed through the cuts with oil and minced garlic before baking. Alternatively, butter and garlic powder are used, or the bread is cut lengthwise into separate slices which are individually garnished.

Some variants are topped with a variety of cheeses, often mozzarella, Parmesan, cheddar or feta. Some restaurants use clarified butter in place of olive oil.


Garlic bread originated in the United States and it is a typical Italian-American dish.[3] It probably originated after Italian immigrants started to use butter as a substitute for olive oil, which was uncommon in the United States in the first half of the 20th century.

Garlic bread stems from bruschetta,[4][5] which appeared in Italy around the 15th century, and can be traced back to Ancient Rome.[6]


In France, it was common in Provence, where it was called chapon and served with salad.[7] It was also prepared in other regions, such as Quercy, as a crust of bread rubbed with garlic, and spiced with a pinch of salt along with a drop of walnut oil.[8]

In England, butter is used instead of olive oil in garlic bread.[9]

North America[edit]

In the United States, garlic bread has been on the menu of many restaurants since at least the 1950s, often paired with pasta dishes, particularly lasagna and spaghetti.[10] Commercially manufactured frozen garlic bread was developed in the 1970s by Cole's Quality Foods in Muskegon, Michigan.[11]

Cultural references[edit]

British comedian Peter Kay famously mentioned the bread in his stand-up routine, quoting his father's disbelief upon hearing of it ("Garlic bread? Garlic bread?!"). He subsequently referenced this in his sitcom Phoenix Nights, when nightclub owner Brian Potter (played by Kay) says, "Garlic bread – it’s the future, I’ve tasted it".

In a 2004 poll by UKTV Gold to find the best British television comedy one-liner, this came top.[12]

Kay's routine gained some revived attention following a stand-up act by an aspiring comedian named Elaine Williams on series 5 of Britain's Got Talent, whose heavily criticised and ridiculed performance eventually devolved into simply repeating the phrase "garlic bread", in reference to the Peter Kay routine, multiple times. When this was not met with laughter, she told the audience to "fuck off", before walking off stage. A clip of the audition has since gone viral on YouTube, and is associated with numerous internet memes on the subject of garlic bread.[13]

In the 2005 comic book Scott Pilgrim vs. the World created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley, and the 2010 film adaptation of the same name, Scott mentions this as his favorite food: "Garlic bread is my favourite food. I could honestly eat it for every meal. Or just all the time without even stopping".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flay, B.; Banyas, S.; Jackson, S. (2011). Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America's Great Flavors. Clarkson Potter. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-307-46138-4.
  2. ^ a b Bastianich, L.M.; Manuali, T.B. (2011). Lidia's Italy in America. Knopf. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-307-59567-6. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  3. ^ Food Timeline. "American-style Garlic Bread". Retrieved 21 December 2023.
  4. ^ Virbila, S. Irene (20 December 1987) FARE OF THE COUNTRY; Italy's Original Garlic Bread. New York Times
  5. ^ Raichlen, Steven (2014). Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys. Workman Publishing Company. pp. 511–. ISBN 978-0-7611-6644-3.
  6. ^ Sankalan Baidya (17 April 2014). "11 Interesting Facts About Bruschetta". Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. ^ de Denus, André Rolland (1885) Les Anciennes Provinces de la France, études étymologiques & onomatologiques sur leur nom et celui de leurs habitants, É. Lechevalier
  8. ^ Goudall, Louis (1858). Le Martyr des Chaumelles. L. Hachette. pp. 52–53.
  9. ^ Gilroy Garlic Festival Committee (1982). The Garlic Lovers' Cookbook: From Gilroy, Garlic Capital of the World. Celestial Arts. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-89087-272-7.
  10. ^ Adema, Pauline (2010). Garlic Capital of the World: Gilroy, Garlic, and the Making of a Festive Foodscape. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-1-60473-333-4.
  11. ^ "Cole's - Home of the Original Frozen Garlic Bread". Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  12. ^ "'Garlic bread' is comedy's greatest line". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  13. ^ Radio Times - Best and Worst Britain's Got Talent Auditions

External links[edit]