Store Tiny Cloves of Garlic in Stock

I hate tiny cloves of garlic. I hate them so much. Nothing disappoints me more than ripping off the papery outer shell of a garlic bulb and finding that it is made up of many tiny cloves rather than fewer beautiful, thick cloves.

The tiny teeth irritate the skin. Unlike the larger carnations, the skin does not slide off after a good blow with my knife blade. It clings to the cloves with the greatest tenacity – you must pluck, peel and pray – and the time it takes to remove it is disproportionate to the amount of garlic you will be rewarded with. Death to tiny carnations.

But … Even though they’re incredibly unpleasant, the tiny cloves are still garlic and you shouldn’t throw them away. I would never advise you to throw away the garlic, but I would also never advise you to waste precious time brushing the pathetic, annoying tiny cloves. Hellish things have one good use, and that is inventory.

Using tiny cloves of garlic to flavor the broth means everyone wins. There is no need to peel them – the skins can go straight into the pot along with the rest of the cloves – just break them up and drop them into the pot. If you are not stocking up right then, toss them in your stocking bag, freeze them, and then smash and throw them in the pot when you stock up. I guess you can also use them to flavor the oil – just saute them for a few minutes until they are flavorful and remove them before adding the rest of the ingredients – but extracting tiny cloves of garlic from hot oil isn’t all that fun for me. No. I think the best use for these little horrors is inventory. Or at least it’s the laziest use that – for me – is the same thing.

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