04. April 2016 · Comments Off on On Garlicking ALL THE THINGS! · Categories: Food, Ingredients, Quick Tips · Tags:

garlic-bulbs-325I blame Emeril. Between his pork fat and bammage, “20 or 30 cloves of garlic” became the battle cry of thousands of American cooks.

The latest food meme states “One clove of garlic is not enough for any recipe unless it’s a recipe for ‘how to cook one clove of garlic,’ and even in this case use two.”

Please stop. Just. Fecking. Stop.

Just because some is good, more is not always better. This is the same mentality that’s transformed IPA beer into undrinkable disconnected mugs of malt sweetness doused with liberal applications of distilled raw hop oil. Yes, sometimes you need just one goddamn clove of garlic.

There is this thing in food and drink called “subtlety” and it might be worth going back to look up the definition again, because so many people seem to have forgot it exists. In a delicate sauce, a little garlic can add complexity and depth. More than that, and congrats – it tastes of nothing but garlic.

Garlic, like its allium cousins onion, leek, and shallot is a versatile thing. Stinging and brash raw, sugar sweet when roasted or caramelized, aromatic when sauted, toasty and smoky when browned. It is also a loud talker – the guest who will take over the party if you let it.

So think – is this dish supposed to taste exclusively or primarily of garlic? If the answer is no, then maybe put the third through 20th cloves down. And seriously question the need for a second.

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