What to do when your garlic clove sprouts a green shoot

Green Garlic Sprout

Thanks to David Lebovitz, we have a definitive answer to one of the kitchen's little questions:  Should You Remove the Green Germ from Garlic? As he writes in his blog, conventional wisdom requires that, to avoid bitterness, you need to remove that little green sprout. But someone "told me that Marcella [Hazan] never removed the green germ (her reasoning being that since it was new garlic in the making, it was tender and not bitter), I figured it would be interesting to see - and taste - if removing it really did make a difference."

And he did put it to the test, first making mayonnaise and then pasta with garlic. Briefly, he noticed the bitterness in the mayonnaise (an uncooked dish) but not in the pasta. So his advice? "Garlic will be different depending on season, variety, and a host of other factors. But when using garlic raw, you should definitely remove the green germ. For cooking, even though it didn't make as much of a difference  in my little taste test, I still advise plucking out the green sprout from the center, which I will continue to do, mostly because it brings me the same joy as cleaning the lint filter on my dryer. "

Photo by David Lebovitz, at david lebovitz.

1 Comment

  • sir_ken_g  on  1/26/2014 at 3:56 PM

    Key for fresh garlic is do not refrigerate. Keep it in a dark ventilated container. For most cooked reciies the chopped kind is cheap and easy and tastes just the same.

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