Preserving Gourmet Garlic: Pickling Garlic and Blue Garlic Explained


| 1/16/2014 9:18:00 AM


Tags: garlic, pickling, fermentation, water bath canning, Canada, British Columbia, Andrea Cross,

pickled garlicPickling is yet another efficient way to preserve gourmet garlic so that you will have plenty to enjoy until the next harvest. Garlic is extremely versatile as a pickling vegetable, because it works well with so many other flavors. It is also as easy and straightforward to process as any other vegetable.

Pickling Garlic

As garlic pickles are a high-acid food, the water-bath canning method of preserving is sufficient in terms of both safety and storage life. The garlic bulbs are usually separated into individual cloves and peeled before being pickled, however, I have also seen some truly inspired whole-bulb pickles. Smaller-cloved varieties tend to be better for pickling as, although they take more time to peel than larger cloves, the flavor of your pickling solution will be able to permeate the garlic more efficiently.

Pickled garlic can be flavored with a vast variety of herbs and spices, ranging from the standard fare of mustard seed, bay leaves and cloves, to the more exotic curry and soy-sauce based. Garlic is also extremely complimentary to vegetable additions, with peppers and pearl onions being particularly popular choices. A favorite combination of ours is fresh gourmet garlic, hot peppers and green tomatoes, a tasty snack when paired with a cold beer after working in the garden all day!

Cooking with Pickled Garlic

Aside from being eaten straight from the jar, pickled garlic can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. It can be added to sauces, slaws and salads, or enjoyed as part of an antipasto platter. It also makes an interesting and unusual gift that is both practical and visually appealing, especially if you add a combination of brightly colored vegetables.

Be aware, however, that when you pickle garlic, there will be changes to both the flavor and texture of the cloves. Though still garlicky, the taste will become less sharp and intense, mellowing and becoming somewhat sweeter. This change is something to keep in mind when you are adding sugar during the pickling process. In many cases, the cloves will also become softer and creamier. If you are looking instead for a crisper texture, either add alum to your pickling solution, or line the bottom of each jar with a grape leaf.peeled garlic

The therapeutic benefits associated with eating fresh garlic will also be significantly reduced through the pickling process. Alliinase, an enzyme necessary for the production of allicin (considered one of the main beneficial compounds) is inactivated in very acidic environments, such as pickling liquid. If the alliinase is neutralized, then allicin cannot be formed.

dispenser
1/7/2015 12:46:42 PM

Do I need to be concerned with the possibility of Botulism? I have heard that garlic in oil must be done carefully to prevent that. I have a lot of garlic in the ground now, and would like to find ways of preserving it, other than shredding, and drying.





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