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Chinese garlic?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
In the recent issue of Food Arts an advert. suggesred that the peeled garlic I (and others) buy that I thought was from Florida is actually from China!

True?

And if so--does anyone know how to peel garlic in large quantities while keeping the clove whole as in the Florida???? Chinese???? garlic?


regards,
lobsterpot1
post #2 of 11
Very possible. Although of course that Christopher Ranch ad was meant to scare, conjuring up visions of tainted baby formula and all.

I can get five heads of Chinese-grown garlic for $1 or less, whereas it costs me more than that for a pound of locally grown garlic or garlic that's shipped in from some other state. (I'm talking about retail, for home cooks.) It's been all right to cook with, but its keeping properties are not good (maybe for the reasons mentioned in the ad). The last time I needed garlic in quantity, to make roasted garlic paste, that's what I used, it for that it's okay.

As for peeling in quantity: at a restaurant where I used to work, the prep guys would separate the heads into cloves and then soak the cloves in water for a few hours or overnight. The skins slip off pretty easily then. But you do have to remove that hard nub where the stem was.

ETA: Forgot to mention that there is, iirc, a regulation now that requires labelling with country of origin. I think it's federal; if so, you should have no trouble finding out where your garlic comes from.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 11
With hardneck garlic you can separate the cloves and drop them in a metal bowl. Cover with a second bowl, inverted. Then give the whole thing a really good shaking. That'll loosen the skins and they'll pop right off.

As Suzanne mentions, however, you'll still have to trim the root end.

I've no idea whether or not this works with softneck varities. Their skins stick tighter.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks Suzanne and KYHeirloomer--I'll try both methods of peeling--however, I don't know the difference between hard and soft garlic--what type is sold at Stop & Shop? for example.

Roasted garlic paste sounds interesting--how is it used?

lobsterpot1
post #5 of 11
Chances are the produce manager doesn't even know there is a difference, let alone what they're selling.

Used to be virtually all the garlic you found in supermarkets (and many other outlets) was a softneck variety called California White. Although arguably the worst choice, it's the one the folks at Gilroy decided to standardize on. And they controlled the mass market on garlic.

Nowadays that monopoly has been broken, and garlic is sold from California, Peru, China, and other countries. So there's no telling what type is being sold.

It's also why there's so much bad garlic out there nowadays---brown spots, insect bites, and rotted cloves. There are no controls on the foreign stuff.

Give the two-bowl method a try. It might work with the soft-neck stuff as well. In which case, it doesn't matter what type you've bought. If it doesn't work there are garlic peelers sold on the market. These are, essentially, plastic tubes that rub the paper off.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ah Gilroy--I remember it well. When we lived in LA we often traveled up to Gilroy for the Garlic Festival--garlic ice cream--a real treat on a hot day!:crazy:


lobsterpot1
post #7 of 11
Love getting the fresh new season garlic - hate the times of year when all you can get is the crusty mortally ill-looking stuff. Much prefer it when we can get the lovely purple tinged bulbs. So much better and keeps well. The out of season muck, only buy as much as I need for a few days. And they have the cheek to sell it for Aus$17/kg. That is really when I turn to powdered garlic out of frustration. In season the good stuff is AUS$4/kg

The two bowl method - thanks for the suggestion. With home cooking I never need too much anyway, but it sounds like a good trick.

As for where food comes from, we seem to get a lot of our fruit from the overseas, oranges especially. I don't know why, it happens mainly when they are out of season, of course, but they've travelled so far for so long, its better off doing without. Its frustrating when this country has a span of growing climates, we should be able to produce most things pretty much all year round.

Ok, hopping off the ol' soap box now.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #8 of 11
>when this country has a span of growing climates, we should be able to produce most things pretty much all year round.<

Don't know as that would change things any, DC. Given the vast distances across your country, you'd still wind up with well-traveled fruits and veggies. No different, say, than when we get produce from Mexico. Or even California.

A 1,500 mile tomato is a 1,500 mile tomato, whether grown in-country or elsewhere. :cry:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 11
This is true....but I'd rather it have travelled from say our north to our south than have moved across say the pacific or indian oceans. Now that is well travelled.

But yeah, point taken.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 11
A little over 90% of the garlic in this country,(fresh, dehydrated, and in the jar) comes from China. Its cheaper and VERY STRONG compared to what is grown in the US.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #11 of 11
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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