Now, I have always been a fan of garlic, feeling a strong allure to this pungent bulb that cannot be suppressed. I always throw an extra clove in to every recipe and would slather every piece of bread in it if I were to never have to kiss a boy again. It is one of the easiest tastes to go over board on–as I did this weekend–so even the seasoned chef needs to watch out. It has a strident bite.
Reader Michelle asks: I have a question regarding kitchen tools: I’ve heard a few people mention that they prefer to chop garlic as opposed to using a grinder b/c the grinder adds a different, less appetizing flavor (according to them). Have you found this to be true?
I agree–chopping garlic is the best way to go. You know all that stringy stuff that remains in the press after you are done? That’s some good stuff and it carries a lot of flavor. Also, chopped garlic is less likely to burn while being sauteed than the pulpy mess that emerges from a grinder. If you need garlic to be superfine, for say, a guacamole, I recommend using a microplane.
One last word on garlic: Please don’t use it from the jar. I know it is easier and convenient and I guess in a pinch it is fine, but it does effect the flavor of a dish. Also, it smells like formaldehyde. Do you really want something that smells like death in a meal you spent hours cooking when it takes about 20 seconds to chop a clove of garlic?