Am I crazy, or does some garlic have a waxy flavor?
I've had this happen a handful of times: I've peeled and minced my garlic, heated up my oil,and then tossed it into the skillet/pot with my other aromatics, only to find a weird, unpleasantly waxy scent coming from the skillet. Tasting confirms what the nose fears: a bizarre, plastic/waxy flavor to the food. I'm pretty sure it's the garlic -- I thin it has happened before when I was cooking only that. And in case you're wondering, no, I didn't accidentally melt a spatula or have other mishaps. So, has anyone else experienced this? The flavor is strong enough that, to my palate anyway, it ruins the food. Any guesses as to the cause, and is there a way to identify it before the garlic is cooked and mingled with other ingredients?
You might be crazy, but there are different varieties of garlic, so maybe not. I've never come across waxy garlic, but I avoid Chinese garlic because it has a very woody base that must be cut off with a knife, while US and Mexican garlic it can be easily pinched off by hand. Keep track of the country of origin when you buy garlic and maybe you'll solve the mystery. If your waxy garlic came packed several bulbs in a plastic mesh bag, it was probably from China.
When I saute garlic cloves or roast a head, it tastes wrong to me. I don't know that I'd call i waxy. Maybe soapy? I gave the cloves a try again recently, slowly sauteeing them in olive oil until they caramelized. Still wrong. Same with cooking shallots. I guess I'll give up and stick with garlic powder and Trader Joe's crushed garlic, both of which I like. I don't care for the sharp heat of raw garlic at all.