Thursday, 18 November 2010

Garlic paraphernalia

Over the last couple of weeks I have seen many Northern Hemisphere bloggers write about planting their garlic for next year. I'm not growing any myself -- mainly because I don't feel I can afford the space. We use so much garlic in our cooking that I would need to devote to this task about three of my six precious raised beds in order to have enough of the stuff!

I thought it might be fun to stimulate a bit of discussion about how we all prepare our garlic, and see who uses what gadgets for it. So here we go:

In our house we use a French-made garlic-crusher that I think is made out of cast aluminium. It was obviously built to last, because it was a wedding present, and we've been married 33 years! As such, it's almost certainly the longest-lived kitchen gadget we possess -- and probably the most frequently-used...
Attesting to its French origin, the word FRANCE appears prominently on one of the handles, which is very fitting, since Jane's maiden name was France!

This is what the gadget looks like:

The way it works is - you put your peeled clove of garlic in the "bowl" of the device (actually it will hold 2 or 3 cloves), with the handles open, and then simply squeeze the handles together. The garlic flesh gets squashed out through a series of small holes. This means that you only get the nice bits, and the fibrous bits are left behind.

Maybe you noticed that the device also has a cherry-stoner arrangement in the handles. We've never used that bit. I suspect somehow that the cherries might end up with a bit of a taint of garlic...

The only down-side of the gadget is that it can be a bit fiddly to clean. It's normally best to rinse it out under the tap before the garlic residue has a chance to dry. I also find a cocktail-stick very handy for cleaning out the little holes.

If you have any garlic-related gadgets maybe you would like to write about them on your blog too? Or at least leave me a Comment telling me about it.


  1. I have a newer but very similar gadget. I also like to slice and dice. I always bruis the garlic by putting the blade of the knife sideways on the clove and pressing down. But I like whole bulbs of garlic roasted in the oven ... they taste sweet and yummy.

  2. I love garlic too but like you I don't think I can afford the space to grow my own this year. I have done so for the past 2 years but yields are low for the amount of space used. Plus, last year I got such small bulbs, I don't know what happened...

    Re gadgets, we have a similar but newer crusher. Perhaps the cherry stoner is in fact an olive stoner? Might not be so bad having garlic-flavoured olives?

  3. Hi Sarah; I had never considered whether the "cherry-stoner" might be for olives. Maybe be you're right, but then would it be able to cope with the long thin olive stone? I reckon the rounder cherry stone might be easier to push out with one of these things.

  4. Hi Hazel; I agree with your thoughts on roasted garlic. The roasting takes away the "in your face" brashness of the garlic and replaces it with a sweetness which you wouldn't expect if you had not encountered it.

  5. I've got a similar garlic crusher but with a removable insert, which makes it much easier to clean. I've also stopped bashing the cloves with a knife and pealing them before crushing, which also makes cleaning easier, as the skins lift out really easily. The only problem is that the garlic tends to splurt out more, creating an interesting and smelly mess on the kitchen walls at times...

    I don't suppose you happen to know the difference in taste between crushing or slicing garlic? I assume there must be one, as recipes from the same person can require either one...

  6. Hi Janet; Sorry, No, I don't know about the difference in taste between sliced and crushed garlic (I didn't know there was one. I thought it was only a difference of texture.)

  7. my garlic crusher was a wedding present too - very similar design but only 12 years old. It gets more use crushing ginger than it does garlic though!

  8. I should try to cook more with garlic, I hardly ever use it. It would be a good reason to plant some garlic too


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