You can find it more and more in supermarkets these days: fresh garlic. But how does this compare to its dried up brother? And more importantly, how do you use it in the kitchen? We figured it out.
First, we want to clear up a misunderstanding. Garlic in its most common form (often sold per three pieces, in a purple net) is not fresh, but dried.
Nowadays we often see the fresh variety lying next to it, for sale as separate bulbs with an elongated green stem. Of course you also have garlic powder or garlic paste, which have nothing to do with fresh garlic.
Fresh garlic vs dried
Anyway, how do the two relate to each other? In terms of looks, fresh cloves are slightly larger and a bit more ‘moisture’ than regular garlic. In terms of taste, the fresh variant is especially less sharp.
Fresh garlic is therefore milder, more refined and more delicate than you are used to from dried garlic. It is also easier to digest and the smell stays in your breath for a shorter period of time – a nice advantage.
Cooking with fresh garlic
The differences are not huge, so you can use the fresh variant with confidence for any recipe with garlic in the ingredients list. Just be aware that you may need a little more to achieve the same garlic aroma.
That is why the fresh variant is particularly suitable for raw preparations such as salads, salsas or dressing. Traditional tomato salsa , for example, can sometimes leave us with an annoyingly dominant garlic taste in our mouth. This is less likely to happen when you work with a fresh copy. Herbal pastes or homemade aioli can also use the mildness of the fresh variety.
Fresh garlic does not have bone-dry skins that you have to peel, unlike the dry variety. In fact, you can simply eat the outer layer, just like the green stem.
The fresh variety is best kept in the fridge , where the bulbs can be kept for about two weeks . Tip: do this in a closed container, this way you avoid that your piece of cheesecake suddenly gets an unpleasant smell…
(Note: dried garlic is best kept outside the fridge!)
Our favorite recipes:
- Culy Homemade: roasted garlic soup with green herb oil
- Filipino Sinangag (garlic fried rice or garlic rice)
- Culy Homemade: make your own garlic oil (which makes everything tastier!)