Chips made from sliced garlic, pasta flavored with an entire head, soup made from 44 cloves: For garlic lovers, there is no such thing as excess.

Today is National Garlic Day — and, even though the designation might be nothing more than a calendar day created for fun, plenty of people are happy to celebrate the odiferous plant.

“We love garlic because of its ability to single-handedly pull a recipe together,” said Anne Boninsegna, who with Jen Lindsey operates The Kitchen in German Village.

“The earthy-yet-sweet quality of garlic is uniquely its own,” she said. “We love that it is so distinct yet versatile enough to use in soups, entrees, sauces and even desserts.”

A running joke between her and Lindsey, Boninsegna said, is that if the scent of garlic and onions sauteeing in butter and olive oil could be bottled, Boninsegna would wear it as a perfume.

At The Kitchen, the pair prepare 44 Clove Garlic Soup, a recipe that blends roasted and fresh garlic into one bowl.

Chef John Dornback, owner of Basi Italia in Victorian Village, said garlic serves all purposes from a martini garnish to a condiment for meat and fish.

“I slice it thin and fry it and add it to salads or top grilled meats with it,” he said. “I pickle it and add to vinaigrettes and cold soups.”

Also at Basi, zested garlic gets whipped into compound butters or citrus pastes. After slow-poaching garlic in olive oil, a technique known as confit, Dornback uses the soft cloves as a spread on crostini, he said.

“Most of all I like that (garlic) is always in my kitchen — like an old friend ready to help make a meal taste good."

Garlic confit also is a favorite of Cara Mangini, owner of Little Eater in the North Market, who will prepare the condiment in batches of two heads at a time, saving that softened, spreadable cloves in olive oil in her refrigerator for up to two weeks to use on bread, in hummus or in pasta, she said.

Beef, chicken, pork and all types of seafood can stand up to garlic, making it a popular flavoring for practically any entree.

Chef Jacob Hough of Barcelona restaurant in German Village said one of his current uses of garlic is to provide the flavor in a Spanish tapas dish of shrimp, spinach and basque peppers.

“The garlic pretty much makes the dish,” Hough said.

Bill Glover, executive chef at the Gallerie Bar & Bistro in the Hilton Columbus Downtown, said his favorite way to use garlic these days is to make “poached crispy garlic chips,” which serve as a topping for a salmon dish on his menu.

Glover said he uses a Japanese mandolin slicing tool to shave the garlic, which he poaches in salted water and then in olive oil until it turns golden and crispy.

“These make a great addition to many dishes," he said, "by way of flavor and texture."