Believe it or not, one raw fresh garlic clove, finely minced or pressed releases more flavor than a dozen cooked whole cloves. When you bake garlic or cook whole cloves of garlic, the flavor mellows into a sweet, almost nutty flavor that hardly resembles any form of pungency. The smaller you cut garlic, the stronger the flavor. Mincing a fresh garlic bulb and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to
produce that strong aroma and potent flavor (I love my garlic press – see top product picks). When cooking with garlic, remove any green shoots beforehand. The green shoots on the whole cloves contain bitter-tasting compounds that remain even after cooking. Store garlic away from direct sunlight in a cool dark location. Fresh garlic also needs to “breathe” and allowing the correct air circulation will extend its shelf life. When buying fresh garlic, look for a garlic bulb that is heavy for its size, enclosed in dry, papery layers.
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