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Aug 5, 2009 12:53 PM

Garlic cloves in jar vs. fresh

Just wondering if anyone has found a big difference in flavor between fresh garlic cloves or WHOLE cloves that come in a jar.

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  1. Yes. There is no comparison. Fresh is overwhelmingly better.

    2 Replies
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Ditto. Fresh is much better, IMO. The peeled ones in the jar have some kind of chemical off flavor to my palate.

      1. re: C. Hamster

        Agreed. Peeled garlic develops strange flavors. Use fresh.

      2. I'm glad to see these responses. I've never used the peeled ones and have a prejudice against them based on nothing :) But it made no sense that they would be as good. I can peel a clove in seconds; I'm not that busy that I need to go any faster than that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          While the whole ones might be better than the jarred chopped garlic, which is hideous, they do have a very "off" flavor and aroma, like niki said.

          I have a friend who insists on buying jarred garlic and ginger and then using them all the time. You would think if you actually liked garlic so much that you would insist on the real thing. But she thinks the jarred kind is easier and doesn't make her hands smell.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            I'd rather be with someone whose hands smell like fresh garlic than like stale garlic from a jar.

        2. I really like the pickled/marinated garlic you get in a jar as a nibble with drinks, but I don't think this is what you're referring to here.

          1. It's funny, I once saw an episode of Unwrapped (I think) where they went over the production/packaging and process and they basically mechanically peeled fresh garlic and then packed them in a jar that was either vacuum sealed or flushed with nitrogen or some other gas. I would have expected that at least when you first open the jar they taste perfectly fine, but like others...they just always taste a little off to me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jzerocsk

              I saw that episode too, I have tried their (Christopher Ranch) jarred garlic, and for me the garlic definitely loses something once the cloves have been seperated from the head and the paper from the garlic clove.
              Could be all in my mind, but I'd much rather peel the garlic myself. It's just part of my cooking process and I'd miss that.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                And the peeled garlic in jars goes bad (develops mold) much faster than an unpeeled head in your dark pantry.

            2. Fresh is absolutely better and since it is so cheap, I can't see why anyone would ever buy them in a jar. I once had a roommate who claimed to be a foodie but had a jar of chopped garlic in the fridge. I would roll my eyes whenever she would use it...