When it comes time to add minced garlic to a dish, do you reach for a press or a knife? Ever wonder which results in a better flavor?
For those who own a garlic press, the process is simple. Pull a garlic clove, pop it in the press and squeeze. Voila! Fresh garlic ready for your recipe. The downside? Another tool to clean. For the purists, a knife will suffice. Simply smash a garlic clove with the side of a knife with the palm of your hand to extract the garlic from its skin and then chop.
Garlic press fans say that the tool helps to break down the cloves more fully, releasing more garlic flavor and producing a fine puree that integrates better with other ingredients. Many chefs shun the practices saying that it makes for bad garlic flavor and a pulpy result.
So what’s the way to go? In a taste test at a leading cooking magazine where garlic was added to butter and slathered on bread, tasters couldn’t discern the pressed versus chopped garlic based on taste alone. The decision may be made on your preparation preference alone.
I say skip it altogether! Many grocers carry minced garlic that is free of preservatives and is as fresh as if you cut it yourself. Just make sure to read the label to make sure it’s just garlic with no additives – Whole Foods frequently has great chopped garlic in their produce section. What could be easier than that?