The use of garlic dates back centuries. There are records in Sanskrit, literally thousands of years old that show garlic’s use as a medicine. Basically before doctors said “take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” they said, “take some garlic.”
My next three posts are going to be about preparing garlic for cooking. We’ll cover:
1. Peeling garlic
A fresh bulb of garlic can be found in the produce section of the grocery store. It is very inexpensive. If it is stored in a cool dark place, it should last up to eight weeks.
This is a picture of whole bulbs of garlic.
It is made up of 10-16 cloves, and each clove is covered in a papery like skin.
(Note from Jon Sacker: “It’s worth pointing out to the ‘startcooking’ readers that one can of course simply ease a single clove or two away from the bulb and then top and smash that. It’s not necessary to use the whole bulb”. – thanks Jon!)
There are two very efficient (and fun) ways to remove that papery skin. One way is to first cut off the base of the clove.
Then place the clove on a board, and gently slam it with the flat side of a big knife. Be sure the sharp edge of the knife is pointed away from you.
The skin should burst so that you can then remove it. A very satisfying activity!
Or you can roll the garlic bulb in a special tool—a garlic skin removing tube…
…and the skin magically slips off the clove.
This tube is like a soft silicone canolli pastry shell. They do cost about $8, which is kind of expensive when you could just use the flat of your knife.
The choice is yours!
Next, we’ll talk about slicing, mincing and crushing garlic.
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