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Old 06-06-2006, 04:29 PM   #51
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I have a Pampered Chef one that never gets used. My knife chops just about everything and I only clean up one item instead of various gadgets that only take up space.

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Old 06-06-2006, 05:25 PM   #52
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Sorry I found this thread so late.

We have owned, and broken, a number of presses and now almost, OK, we never use them.

We have a lot of cooking tools, and we may still have a garlic press lurking about somewhere, but normally either smash or slice them.

Find the my chef knife as fast and faster to clean, but to each his own.

But now I have to ask something.

Remember Paulie finely shaving garlic with a single edge razor blade in the GodFellas movie.

Have never tried it.

Sounds like a bit time consuming, but would love to know if the method works.

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Old 06-06-2006, 05:52 PM   #53
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I've had several, and found them handy, but they kept breaking, even a good one that I got for a gift.
I now just do the smashing thing with my knife. It's easier to mince like that. And adding salt to the board really works great, if you want a paste.

I also use jarred minced garlic quite a bit. When age does mean things to your body, you learn to use some short-cuts, and once it's heated, I can't tell the difference between fresh garlic and the jarred stuff.

And, I often roast fresh garlic, and work with it that way. It's great for garlic bread.

Now, if it's for a salad dressing or the like, I want fresh garlic. Fresh deserves fresh.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:54 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Constance
I also use jarred minced garlic quite a bit. When age does mean things to your body, you learn to use some short-cuts, and once it's heated, I can't tell the difference between fresh garlic and the jarred stuff.

Now, if it's for a salad dressing or the like, I want fresh garlic. Fresh deserves fresh.
Couldn't have said it better myself Constance. Me too.
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:07 AM   #55
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I also use jarred chopped garlic, but to me, it still doesn't seem to have the same great flavor and odor as fresly pressed garlic.

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Old 06-08-2006, 11:13 AM   #56
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Same here Corey
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Old 06-11-2006, 04:45 PM   #57
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I find that the flavour of finely chopped garlic, crushed garlic, and garlic from a press is different.

Anybody else found the same?

And I agree: cleaning a garlic press (even with the little knobs that are supposed to push the remnants out) is a pain in the butt.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:05 AM   #58
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It does taste different, you're right. I commented on this earlier but no-one picked it up. I wondered if it's because when you use a press, you get all the juice, rather than losing any as it seeps into or across the surface of a chopping board. Anyone else any views? I prefer the flavour of pressed rather than chopped garlic.
To clean my garlic press, I just pick off the big bigs of leftover pulp as soon as I've finished using it and then leave the press to soak in some water, either in the sink or up-ended in a cup of water. All that's required then is to run some very hot water through. No trouble at all.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:03 AM   #59
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Pressed garlic will be stronger in flavor, because the press basically smashes all the cell walls in a clove of garlic. When garlic is crushed, chopped, minced,or otherwise damaged, alliin reacts with the enzyme allinase, which results in the transformation of alliin into allicin.

Allicin is the stuff we like about garlic, and the more cell walls you breach in garlic preparation, the more of it you get, and the stronger the flavor. So, the larger the pieces of garlic used, the milder the flavor, and the smaller, the stronger. Using a press results in about the smallest "pieces" you are going to get, and so will make your garlic stronger in flavor.

Allicin breaks down pretty quickly if the garlic is heated or not refrigerated, which is why most chefs look down their noses at the pre-minced or crushed jarred varieties you see in the produce aisles at the grocery store. Buying your garlic this way is pretty much the same as buying pre-ground, canned coffee, or pre-ground pepper.

For those of you who don't want to clean a garlic press, you can achieve pretty much the same results with the smooth side of a meat mallet and some plastic wrap.

Just remember that the smaller the pieces, the more susceptible they are to burning with certain cooking methods, like sautéing. Burnt garlic is bad.

Another thing you can do as a "cheat" is, if you have a decent juicer, you can juice whole heads of garlic, (many of them) put the juice in a small spray bottle in the fridge, and use that to hose down any foods you want the flavor of garlic in or on. Cut the woody portion that holds the cloves together off before juicing, and go easy at first when you try it in your cooking. This stuff is really strong. You can also dilute it with water, or put it in extra virgin olive oil. Try using the diluted versions to spray a salad, or a hunk of meat before cooking. Yum!
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:58 AM   #60
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Strange thread!

Honestly, I can't figure out what you folks are doing to your garlic presses to break them! Do you have particularly hard garlic elsewhere?!

I have a cast aluminum one I've had for years and used very, very often. Unlike some of you, I wouldn't be without it and find nothing about it a hassle. I suspect those of you who swear about cleaning them have let the garlic mush dry on the press, right? If you rinse it right away, there's nothing to it -- use the little pokey device that comes with it, or just force some water backwards through the holes and pick the remnants of the garlic out with a knife (comes out in one piece, easy peasy).

Also, as for the use: kinda depends on what you're DOING with the garlic, doesn't it? If you're throwing it in a stew or somesuch, of course you don't need to crush it, but if you're making tsatziki, for instance, you don't want obvious chunks, you want a paste, and the garlic press is perfect for that.

Tried my wooden mortar and pestle recently (making "skordalia" to go with a nice fried cod ...) and found it was a complete pain: slippery, stringy, and requiring far more work than necessary.

And sitting around mincing one or two little cloves by hand with a knife? Why?!

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