It is hard to find facts, explanation or even suggestions about why garlic would be kitniot. Here a selection of things you find:
- It was erroneously included in a kitniot list of some popular cookbook (Comment by Chaos on April 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM).
- "Garlic was used to keep mice away from the wheat" (Comment by FullaBullaRav on April 15, 2011 at 12:28 AM).
- "The local farmers used to dip the garlic in flour to make it look whiter when they took it to market" (Comment by IsraeliYid on April 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM).
- "There is (was) a problem of the ovens in which they are dried." (Comment by Anonymous on March 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM).
- "The Belz Hassidic sect will not eat garlic because generations ago in Eastern Europe, garlic was preserved inside sacks of wheat." (JPost: Defending Humrot)
Botanically or usage-wise, I cannot think of any reason why garlic should be kitniot. The cRc Guide insists on supervision for peeled or powdered garlic (just like it should be with every spice), otherwise all my usual lists agree garlic is fine. So enjoy!
- Danger of chametz traces: Fresh – no. Ground – not more than spices.
- Danger of confusion with chametz (raw): Definite no.
- Danger of confusion with chametz (processed): No – just smell it.
- Botanical categorization: Amaryllidaceae.
- Known in 13th century: Yes.
- Verdict: Definitely not kitniot.
photo (c) JJ Harrison