I belive that the closest we have to asafoetida is garlic (also for many an
Asafoetida is an Indian spice and in my opinion is an acquired
taste, which I have not yet acquired. I believe it's also called HING, in
India. I don't know the origin of the prefix "asa", but it is not a
linguistic coincidence that the last part of the word looks like
"fetid". Ie, it has a really strong and distinctive smell & taste, and you
use it in a tiny pinch. Seems to me you could omit it and no-one will be
saying, "Gee, what is this dish missing?"
Just my .02 worth.