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How You Cut Garlic Determines Its Flavor

A person chops garlic.
Nungning20/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to flavors that are almost universally loved, garlic is near the top of the list. Whether you prefer a more mild flavor or enjoy a bold taste, there’s a trick to perfecting your level of garlic flavor.

How you cut your garlic can determine its flavor.

There are several ways to use garlic in recipes, and if you’ve ever wondered why some call for minced garlic and others for garlic paste, the flavor profile each form creates is likely why. According to America’s Test Kitchen, garlic’s flavor comes from allicin, a compound within the walls of the plant. When the walls are broken, more allicin is produced. The more you chop, slice, or press garlic, the more allicin it’ll contain and the more flavor you’ll get it.

So, what type of flavor does each form of garlic give:

  • Whole: Making no changes to a garlic clove means a mild flavor as the walls aren’t broken down to produce more allicin.
  • Sliced: When you slice garlic, you’ll get a mild flavor in a dish.
  • Minced: Arguably, minced garlic is the most common, and it provides a bold, powerful garlic taste to a dish.
  • Paste: Garlic paste is the strongest form of garlic flavor since the entire clove has been broken down.

The next time you want to add an extra boost of flavor to your dinner dish, you might want to consider switching up how you’re chopping your garlic.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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