It was just a few years ago I realized that the way garlic tastes has a lot to do with how you treat it. We were leaving a local home show and one of the vendors was selling these cute little dishes for processing garlic. Obviously I bought one. The complimentary brush has since gone to the great brush burial ground. But the gist is that you scrub the clove around on the little teeth and it sort of shreds the garlic up. Then you use a pastry brush to push it off into your pot or bowl.
A problem with this method was that the garlic was always very strong and even hot. Sometimes that is just what you are after, but most times not.
That dish showed me that the rougher you treat garlic, the stronger its taste is.
Compare the sweet and mild flavor of a whole roasted clove of garlic, to pulverized bits in your stir-fry.
At a Middle Eastern restaurant in Detroit, we were not only served the expected hummus, but a hot dip called Toum. It is basically pulverized garlic. It seemed like it had jalapeno in it, but alas, just garlic became that hot. It’s really good, especially if you can alternate between Toum and hummus.
Try either or both of these recipes to realize what a contrast your treatment provides:
bonus – your own homemade Hummus