Because they're just that - strips of garlic bread tied into a knot! Extremely popular in the US, especially in New York City and the surrounding areas, garlic knots are a great comfort food to many.
Even though they're not quite an Italian invention, garlic knots are usually served in Italian restaurants across the US. You can also often find them in pizza places that offer quick dining.
As we mentioned above, garlic knots don't come from Italy. Just like garlic bread, garlic knots are an American invention that's been inspired by Italian cuisine.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the exact origin of garlic knots. One claims that the knots were invented in a Queens pizzeria in 1973. The second claims that the actual place of origin is a 1947 Brooklyn pizza place.
Even though both of these theories are plausible, the second one is more widely accepted, and even comes with receipts! In short, it's all about Anthony's Place in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, whose owner reportedly started serving something called garlic rolls back in 1947.
Essentially, his garlic rolls were rolled homemade pizza dough with olive oil, fresh garlic, and poppy seeds on top. Even though these rolls aren't exactly knots, they're still considered by many to be the predecessor of the garlic knots recipe, granting this iconic NYC pizzeria the title of inventor.
No matter which pizzeria invented the garlic knots, the reality of the recipe still comes from trying to avoid food waste. Whether in Brooklyn or in Queens, the pizzerias were trying to avoid having to throw away unused pizza dough, so they came up with a plan.
Lucky for us, the plan is equally delicious as it is functional, so it's a win-win either way!
Much like other fan-favorite Italian-American foods, garlic bread is made of very simple ingredients.
It all starts with some pizza dough. Instead of rolling it out and spreading it in a circle, the dough is separated into stripes, which are then tied in a knot. The knot is a simple one, much like the knot we do when we tie our shoes, for example.
Once tied, each knot then receives a coat of either garlic butter or olive oil. The olive oil can be infused with garlic or used as is, in which case finely chopped garlic is added on top. Finally, once everything is nicely covered, the knots are baked in a pizza pan until they're golden brown.
This dish is often served with marinara sauce for dipping and can also be found with added parmesan cheese for a bit of extra flavor.
Taking everything into consideration, garlic knots aren't an inherently unhealthy food. When eaten in moderation, garlic knots aren't better or worse to eat than any other food out there. Especially when eaten in restaurants that prep fresh food, garlic knots can provide a lot of nutritional elements that will benefit you and your body.
If, however, you're wondering about garlic knots calories, here's the raw data. One serving of classic garlic knots has 110 calories, 15g carbs, 4.5g fats, and 4g protein. Keep in mind that garlic knots prepared with butter instead of oil will have a higher calorie count, as will ones eaten with additions such as parmesan.
All in all, however, you should never feel guilty or worried about eating any food. As we said, when moderation is applied every food is a healthy food!
If you're craving some garlic knots after all this reading, here are some amazing restaurant suggestions.
If you didn't find your city on our modest list, head to the Slice website. There, you can search either by area or by dish and discover some great restaurants near you!