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Peeled Garlic


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The local Costco sells tubs of pre-peeled garlic from Christopher Ranch in nearby Gilroy. Has anyone used it, and what are the actual differences between this and fresh heads that you peel yourself? What, if anything, do you lose? Also, does anyone know how they peel them - blanched maybe?

My thought was to puree a bunch and freeze it flat in a zip bag.

Monterey Bay area

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They certainly lose a lot by pre-peeling. It depends on their eventual use-if you're roasting them as a vegetable for example they'll be fine. The frozen puree is a pretty bad idea-it oxidises very readily and tastes downright nasty, though if you puree it with ginger it's ok to use in Indian food. No need to freeze, just add a very little vinegar and salt and t will keep for a month in the fridge.

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I agree with muichoi ... if I am roasting them in olive oil, then they work great. But to use them in a fresh preparation where the garlic flavor is supposed to be prominent, it's better to peel fresh garlic.

I make a lot of roasted garlic hummos, and the pre-peeled stuff works out real well.

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You can also immerse it in oil and bake for several hours to create 'roasted' garlic, and then freeze it, which many people seem to think retains its quality pretty decently. You also have roasted garlic oil to use for a few days.

Preserving garlic is, as I understand it, risky for botulism growth. It wouldn't hurt to do some research if you decide to go this direction.

I was purchasing packages of pre-peeled garlic for awhile, but I just wasn't using enough of it before it went bad. I'm back to peeling my own. . .which, actually, isn't a big deal.

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The local Costco sells tubs of pre-peeled garlic from Christopher Ranch in nearby Gilroy. Has anyone used it, and what are the actual differences between this and fresh heads that you peel yourself? What, if anything, do you lose? Also, does anyone know how they peel them - blanched maybe?

My thought was to puree a bunch and freeze it flat in a zip bag.

I'll admit it is a staple in my kitchen. I am often using the equivalent of several heads of garlic and it is simply a convenience and really inexpensive. That said, I agree it is much less pungent. Once I get it home I transfer it to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. I stuff a paper towel in there to absorb moisture. When I take the jar out I replace the towel if it is damp, and wipe down any condensation on the glass. I usually use it up before a month or so, but have had it remain firm even longer. Once it looks punky I cover with olive oil and slow roast for a tasty spread.

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Once it looks punky I cover with olive oil and slow roast for a tasty spread.

I'm assuming that since the 'p' key is pretty far from the 'f' key, you actually meant the word punky. I'm also guessing that punky has nothing to do with this TV character. :biggrin:

Would punky be an off color, off smell, or slightly soft texture (as in pre-cursor to rotting)?

Edited by tino27 (log)

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You can also immerse it in oil and bake for several hours to create 'roasted' garlic, and then freeze it, which many people seem to think retains its quality pretty decently.  You also have roasted garlic oil to use for a few days.

Preserving garlic is, as I understand it, risky for botulism growth.  It wouldn't hurt to do some research if you decide to go this direction. 

This is the only thing I do with pre-peeled garlic. It takes an hour in oil in the oven. I always cover the roasting pan (actually, I use a big ramiken) with foil, which reduces the chance of spillage of hot oil. Never tried freezing it; we use it up too fast for that to be needed. At work we used to strain and puree the cooked garlic and it was a standard mise-en-place item. The remaining garlic oil is great in salad dressings, mash spuds, sauces...

There have been outbreaks of botulism linked to (usually chopped fresh) garlic in oil, but every one I've read about has been caused by people not following the "Keep Refrigerated" on the label. This applies to most non-acidic or non-salted things in oil, including infused oils; the oil provides the anerobic environment needed for botulism to multiply.

More info from some North America governments:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-...lic-ail-eng.php

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/ANS00523.html

The 1st article says it's good for a week in the fridge but I've had no issues keeping 'roast' (confit) garlic in oil for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Just don't leave it on the counter and you'll be fine.

Hong Kong Dave

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Christopher Ranch has been buying and reselling Chinese garlic in order to remain competitive. While I do not know for sure just what garlic products Christopher Ranch sells that are Chinese in origin, it's quite possible that the peeled garlic is Chinese product if only because the peeled garlic cannot be easily identified as Chinese or California grown. Also, as noted in other posts, the quality of the peeled garlic seems to be inferior to the whole cloves, and it is acknowledged that Chinese garlic tends to be milder and less flavorful.

Bill Christopher is candid about what he sells, so if you were to ask him specifically which garlic products that he sells are Chinese in origin, I'm sure he'll tell you.

I've stopped buying Christopher Ranch garlic and am only purchasing whole cloves from the local farmers' market here in Berkeley.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I've stopped buying Christopher Ranch garlic and am only purchasing whole cloves from the local farmers' market here in Berkeley.

Me too...who knows what chemicals they're using to grow the garlic that gets imported from China. I see three packs of Chinese garlic in Chinatown for $1...I'll continue to pay $1 or so for locally grown, organic garlic at the farmer's market.

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On the last show I saw of the PBS series "Cook's Country", Christopher Kimball said that while they can't recommend the pre-diced/crushed garlic, he said their test kitchens use the pre-peeled garlic quite often as a time-saver. He didn't mention what brand they use.

 

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I keep both pre-peeled and fresh garlic in my kitchen. I never buy pre-sliced or diced garlic, since I find them to taste odd. But the pre-peeled garlic is really there for my convenience, and for many situations they are incredibly useful. I also make caramelized garlic & onion confit and keep it ready for times when I need it since I find them to be useful in many situations.

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Because we use a lot of garlic (both in the bread bakery and at home), we decided to try the peeled, whole garlic a couple of years ago, and thank goodness because peeling that much garlic is a major pain in the neck. I was skeptical at first, but I agree that there's little discernable difference between the peeled stuff in the jars and whole, unpeeled stuff. If you use a lot of garlic, it might be worth trying.

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  • 9 months later...

A few years ago I flirted with the notion of switching over to pre-chopped garlic. It seemed like a huge time-saver.

Pre-chopped garlic, however, doesn't taste good. I've tried it a few times and, even when you cook it into a dish, it carries a weird chemical flavor. It has a particular talent for ruining marinades. It also has a sogginess to it and that makes it harder to work with. In addition, because it's chopped to a certain size it doesn't offer much in the way of flexibility if you're looking for a rough chop, little slices, etc.

Of late, I've been experimenting with a different product: peeled garlic. I've had much better results. I certainly can't tell the difference in cooked dishes. It may be that the peeled garlic I'm getting is actually better-tasting than the raw sold at the same market. And the convenience is terrific: you skip a whole step in terms of processing and cleanup. When you consider the waste when you peel your own garlic, the per-pound cost of usable product isn't all that different. It also encourages me to use more garlic, because it's so convenient. And I can chop it coarse or fine, slice it, use whole cloves, crush it, etc. -- whatever I want.

What are you all doing for garlic?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Of late, I've been experimenting with a different product: peeled garlic. I've had much better results. I certainly can't tell the difference in cooked dishes. It may be that the peeled garlic I'm getting is actually better-tasting than the raw sold at the same market. And the convenience is terrific: you skip a whole step in terms of processing and cleanup. When you consider the waste when you peel your own garlic, the per-pound cost of usable product isn't all that different. It also encourages me to use more garlic, because it's so convenient. And I can chop it coarse or fine, slice it, use whole cloves, crush it, etc. -- whatever I want.

What are you all doing for garlic?

Never heard of peeled garlic. How is it sold? Or maybe it's just the small city thing.

Also what waste is there when you peel your own garlic? I don't follow this.

Thanks.

Darienne

 

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Peeled garlic seems to be a standard supermarket item wherever I go. It's also available at Costco.

When you take a whole head of garlic, break it apart and peel every clove, you're left with quite a bit of material on the cutting board: the skins, the core of the bulb (whatever the term for that is), the end pieces of some of the cloves, etc.. That's the waste.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Peeled garlic seems to be a standard supermarket item wherever I go. It's also available at Costco.

When you take a whole head of garlic, break it apart and peel every clove, you're left with quite a bit of material on the cutting board: the skins, the core of the bulb (whatever the term for that is), the end pieces of some of the cloves, etc.. That's the waste.

We have a brand new Costco in the city ( 35 mins) but I haven't been in it yet. Still HOW does the garlic come? In a bag? bottle? in oil? I really haven't seen it.

As for the waste. We don't eat the skins or hard parts...oh I misunderstood what you meant. You meant...cost per pound is higher because of the waste. Duh! :wacko: Forgive me.

Today DH was sent to local grocery store to buy some bottled eggplant in oil amongst other things. They don't carry it, this straight from Clint, the owner. The pros and cons of living in the middle of nowhere and shopping locally. They don't carry eggplant either. But they do know your name. And butcher Dave...yes, a real butcher...will cut you the nicest piece of meat if he likes you. (Yeah, I make him candy.)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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When you take a whole head of garlic, break it apart and peel every clove, you're left with quite a bit of material on the cutting board: the skins, the core of the bulb (whatever the term for that is), the end pieces of some of the cloves, etc.. That's the waste.

So the cloves you get have had the ends trimmed and the sprouts removed? Also, how long does it keep? I've seen the peeled garlic in stores, but usually the containers are sufficiently large quantities that I would worry about freshness before I used it all up (I use 1-2 whole heads of garlic a week at home--don't see any reason to buy more than that at once).

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

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Right now I have some locally (Manitoulin Island) garlic that is just fabulous but when that runs out I will be back to supermarket garlic which is downright awful. I might consider the peeled garlic cloves if I knew their shelf-life (refrigerated) as I would also find it hard to use up in the quantities I see offered in the supermarket and in the Asian grocery.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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This is the spec sheet on the product I've been buying:

http://www.christopherranch.com/products/P...zBAGPACKETS.pdf

I've seen peeled garlic packaged a lot of ways, but this is by far my favorite. The bag is well sealed, and within the bag are smaller vacuum-sealed pouches of about 6-8 cloves. The cloves aren't perfectly denuded of everything -- you could still trim the stem if you wanted to -- but they're well peeled enough that I just chop them as-is. The garlic is grown in California, which is nice to know -- the fresh garlic in most markets doesn't seem to state a place of origin.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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This is the spec sheet on the product I've been buying:

http://www.christopherranch.com/products/P...zBAGPACKETS.pdf

I've seen peeled garlic packaged a lot of ways, but this is by far my favorite. The bag is well sealed, and within the bag are smaller vacuum-sealed pouches of about 6-8 cloves. The cloves aren't perfectly denuded of everything -- you could still trim the stem if you wanted to -- but they're well peeled enough that I just chop them as-is. The garlic is grown in California, which is nice to know -- the fresh garlic in most markets doesn't seem to state a place of origin.

Thanks. I will certainly look for this but have some serious doubts it will be found in Ontario. Perhaps a similar product will emerge eventually but the only peeled garlic I have spotted so far is in very large jars.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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