Garlic: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Erin Coopey By Erin Coopey 10.13.10
Garlic: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I realize that sometimes it’s easier to grab the granulated garlic shaker than to peel and chop a clove of fresh garlic but trust me the fresh garlic flavor and versatility make it worth the effort.

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Always try to purchase garlic from the bulk bin versus bagged garlic. This helps to ensure that the garlic you buy is fresh. You can sort out the best garlic by following these hints. Always choose a large head of garlic with tightly packed cloves and white papery skin. Avoid garlic with loose cloves and damaged or discolored skin.


If you happen to purchase a head of garlic that has begun to sprout simply break the gloves apart and plant the in your garlic or window box. In a few weeks, you’ll have garlic chives to snip.


Did you know that the finer you chop garlic, the stronger the flavor becomes? The oil in the garlic is released when you chop it, which gives the strong garlic aroma. A whole clove of garlic will impart milder flavor, while minced garlic will be more pungent.


Peeling garlic can be a hassle. If you are preparing a recipe that calls for whole garlic cloves like 40 Clove Garlic Chicken, try using a garlic peeler to remove the skin. If you don’t have a garlic peeler, separate the cloves and place them in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the cloves and allow to sit for 1 minutes. Drain the boiling water and then cover the cloves with cool water. When the cloves are cool, peel away the papery skin and use as desired.


I love the flavor of roasted garlic. Roasting mellows the sharp, pungent flavor and leaves you with creamy, aromatic goodness. It’s wonderful in mashed potatoes, with roasted chicken, and in savory custards. It also makes a to-die-for accompaniment to cheeses and crackers. Try smearing it on crusty slice of French bread topped with goat cheese or cream cheese. Yum!


Roasted Garlic

  • Whole Fresh Heads of Garlic
  • Olive Oil


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the top third (the stem end) of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Leave the head in tact and attached by the root. Peel away any loose papery skin on the outside of the head. Place the heads of garlic in a ceramic container. Pour olive oil over the garlic until there is about 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of the container. Cover the container with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour until the garlic is soft and lightly browned.


Carefully remove the softened garlic from the oil. The cloves should release the creamy garlic with a gentle squeeze.


You can also use the garlic-infused oil to make Caesar salad dressing, to sauté chicken or fish, or brush vegetables for grilling. Store the oil in the refrigerator for up to one week.


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  • stephainenz By stephainenz

    I love garlic Good tips thanks

  • ChefErin By ChefErin

    KPinky - What a nice suggestion! ~ Chef Erin

  • KPinky By KPinky

    Garlic is versatile, inexpensive, and easy to store. The the flavor in so many dishes I prepare for my family and friends. One of my favorites is toasted rye bread with garlic and Romano or Parmesan cheese on top. Makes a quick and delicious appetizer.

  • chipperscaninecrunchables By chipperscaninecrunchables

    What a great article and video-thanks!

  • poamflores By poamflores

    Not only is garlic fantastic in taste, but also is a natural remedy for lowering Cholesterol! My husband had great success with it!

  • normita By normita

    the smell is gross but, i used all the time in my plates for example when i cook pasta i put real garlic

  • jen8763 By jen8763

    I'm not sure if anyone knows this but garlic is good for a dogs coat as well as eggs.

  • princess_sativa By princess_sativa

    i loooove the new information. i adore health and i enjoy cooking, this is perfect!

  • JTNT8704 By JTNT8704

    I have a Pampered Chef garlic peeler, and I think it was one of the best gadgets I have ever bought for my kitchen. I use it nearly everytime I cook, and have even turned my old school Italian father onto using one as well!

  • ChefErin By ChefErin

    eyeluvlife - Your suggestion is perfect for removing peel when you intend to chop, mince, or slice the garlic. Smashing the clove releases the oils and gives more garlic flavor. If you are preparing a recipe that calls for whole garlic, sometimes you need to peel them gently. Great suggestion though! ~ Chef Erin

  • SuthrnMom By SuthrnMom

    A hard smash with the side of a blade has always worked great for me, they peel right off in seconds! I have never used a peeler. Maybe it is something I will try.

  • mbusch2u By mbusch2u

    I love garlic! Thank goodness my husband does too or else I'd be in trouble!

  • anderson By anderson

    Great tips, but when I eat garlic I tend to encourage all around me to eat it too!! That way we do not end up noticing the garlic odor.

  • deerland By deerland

    Great tips! I put the cloves in the microwave for 20 seconds and the peels come right off.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    Good tips...thanks!

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