Is Crushed or Chopped Garlic in a Jar as Good as Fresh?

Crushed Garlic Jar & Chopped Garlic Jar

Most people believe that crushed or chopped garlic in a jar is not as good as fresh. And there are several reasons why. Let us look at them.

  • Fresh cloves, crushed or mashed instantly, produce the best and the most vibrant garlic flavour you need! Whereas garlic in a jar loses the real, fresh flavour and natural taste that you get from freshly crushed garlic cloves.
  • Jarred garlic is pasteurized and will never compare to fresh garlic. Much of garlic’s nutritional goodness gets lost during the pasteurisation process. Sometimes, the oxidation of garlic in the jar can also take its toll, giving an off-flavour in dishes.
  • The moment you crush, slice, grate, or chop garlic, the flavour starts to change! The cell walls of the garlic bulb break up and develop a sharp, bitter flavour that puts you off. It becomes more unpleasant when the chopped garlic sits on grocery store shelves for days and weeks. Also, jarred garlic contains added stabilizers, such as citric acid and phosphoric acid, which ruin the natural flavour of garlic.
  • Some people don’t find jarred garlic as good as fresh due to the cost factor. Whole garlic bulbs, purchased as a raw ingredient for the kitchen, are less expensive than their processed counterparts. Moreover, they are more environment-friendly as they don’t require any processing or containers for storage.
  • Fresh garlic is more versatile and can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. You can roast it with butter to make garlic bread. You can brush infused garlic oil to prepare bruschetta and croutons. You can grate it raw and use it to prepare a zesty sauce. You can even fry it to create a crispy and crunchy topping for pasta.
  • Crushed garlic cloves in a jar may not taste as strong as the fresh ones. They’re usually bland and nearly tasteless. So, it usually takes a couple of extra teaspoons of jarred garlic to get the equivalent flavour of one clove of fresh garlic in a dish. For all these reasons, fresh garlic seems to be the best.

However, there is a section of people who find crushed or chopped garlic in a jar good as fresh. Let us understand why.

  • Of all the pre-processed jars of crushed and chopped garlic available in stores, a few trusted brands have good, reliable flavour. They use organically-grown fresh garlic and have minimal additives. They simply contain chopped or crushed garlic cloves and nothing else. These are not only more convenient than whole raw cloves (there’s no crushing or chopping required) but also retain garlic’s natural taste. Moreover, these can be easily stored in the refrigerator and used as needed.
  • Pre-chopped garlic in a container can be a big boon for people with limited mobility. For them, scooping garlic from a jar rather than peeling, chopping, or mincing might be much easier.
    Using fresh garlic every time can become messy and painful to peel. It also takes a lot of time that may be used more productively elsewhere. That is why some people find crushed or chopped garlic in a jar good for them.
  • Though it’s not quite as strong as the fresh, the convenience factor makes jarred garlic worthwhile to them. So, pre-chopped garlic is best for people who cook three meals a day, seven days a week for large families and guests.
  • Crushed garlic cloves or pre-chopped garlic in a jar work well for garlic emergencies. So, keeping a jar of pre-chopped garlic in your refrigerator seems to be a smart move. If you need a hint of garlic and you don’t have any fresh ones, then you have them in the jar! It may not impart the same zesty flavour as fresh garlic but will help get dinner on the table!

The Bottom Line

There is no doubt that crushed or chopped garlic in a jar is not as good as fresh. But, if you get tired of peeling, chopping, slicing, or crushing fresh garlic cloves for cooking meals or just don’t have the time to do it, then crushed garlic cloves in a jar may be a good option for you.

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