Know When to Slice, Chop, or Mince Garlic

You’ve Got to Know When to Slice It, Know When to Chop It, and Know When to Mince It.

Today we will discuss garlic and how you can Know When to Slice, Chop, or Mince Garlic. How you prep garlic is critical for the creation of allicin, the component of garlic that has shown promise in helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

Chopping or crushing garlic releases the enzyme alliinase, which reacts with the chemical alliin to form allicin. To get the most out of garlic’s health benefits, chop or crush garlic cloves (the finer, the better) to join the active compounds and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking.

How to Choose When to Slice, Chop, or Mince Garlic

Time needed: 2 minutes.

Know When to Slice, Chop, or Mince Garlic

  1. Peel the Garlic

    Peel the garlic and trim the hard nib from the bottom of the bulb and then roll the bulb against a non-stick mat (which lives under my cutting board). This will remove the skin without touching the flesh.

  2. Know When to Slice It

    Decide whether to slice, chop or mince the garlic clove. If you’re looking for texture and a little bit of a nutty flavor, slice the garlic about 1 millimeter thick across. It adds a nice mouthfeel to recipes and looks visually interesting.

  3. Know When to Chop It

    When you’re making a quick or sautéed recipe, the best way to maximize the spicy garlic flavor is to finely chop it. This can be added near the end of high-heat cooking and give clean garlic spice to your dish.

  4. Know When to Mince It

    When you are making long-cooking dishes such as soups and stews, you should use minced or pureed garlic. To do this, chop garlic on the cutting board, sprinkle some coarse salt over it and use the back of the knife to grind or puree it right on the board.

So there you have it and now you know when to slice it, know when to chop it, and know when to mince it.

Varieties of Garlic

Garlic is indigenous to Central Asia and was first domesticated in the Mediterranean about 5,000 years ago. Gladiators ate garlic prior to battle and Egyptian slaves purportedly consumed it to give them the strength to build the pyramids.

Garlic is one of 700 species in the Allium or onion family. The two different types of garlic are Softneck (Allium sativum) and Hardneck (Allium ophioscorodon), sometimes referred to as Stiffneck. Although some consider elephant garlic as a third.

  • Softneck Garlic is broken into two subgroups: Artichoke and Silverskin. Both of these common garlic types are sold in the supermarket and you have more than likely used them.
  • Hardneck Garlic has large cloves that are easy to peel and have a more intense flavor than Softnecks. They are easy to peel but have a shorter shelf life of four to five months.
  • Elephant Garlic is actually a member of the onion family but is a variant of the leek. It has very large bulbs with very few cloves, three or four, and has a sweet, mellow onion/garlic flavor and a similar mien, hence the confusion.

Recipes That Call for Garlic

Here are all of our recent recipes that call for Garlic.

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Frank Farmer
Frank Farmer
A focused, single-minded man, Frank understands the management of food from farm to kitchen and everything in between. Frank illuminates how rapidly changing technology, environmental restrictions, and an ever-changing economy affect your kitchen and the food you eat.
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