In Italian cuisine, garlic is put un chopped if not cut in small pieces. I personally doubt it could give a lot of taste during a short Sautee.

Is that correct and what are the actual differences of adding garlic in different conditions like chopped fine or with or without peeling?


2 Answers 2


The more chopped-up you chop the garlic, the faster the garlic will return flavor when cooking it, but also the faster it loses its flavor.

At my household, we don't really use garlic whole; we either chop them up into a mince, finely chopped or roughly chopped.

  • We use minced garlic for raw consumption, in soy sauce based dips.

  • We use finely chopped garlic to flash flavor the oil we use to stir-fry in; first heat up the oil, dump in the finely-chopped garlic, use a spatula to shuffle the garlic around a little, and put in the stir-fry ingredients.

  • We use roughly-chopped garlic to flash flavor the oil we use to stir-fry in, while having it serve as a vegetable of the dish.

  • We use whole garlic cloves baked, to compliment baked dishes. And also for brines that take days to finish brining.

Of course, the way we use garlic in my household may be not-optimal, or what I listed above may seem random, but there's how we use garlic for ya :)


Garlic is an ingredient whose impact you can fine tune, depending on how you handle it. A clove used unpeeled, peeled and left whole, crushed, sliced, chopped, minced, or turned into a paste, all yield slightly different results, and depend on the impact you are looking for. So, yes, a whole, peeled clove, cooked in some olive oil, for example, does impart flavor (as well as cooking the clove of garlic...which changes its flavor). It really depends on the desired impact of the garlic in your dish. In general, the more surface area, the stronger the flavor...but also the easier it is to burn and ruin the flavor of the whole dish.

  • It also gives you one huge garlicky mouthful at some surprise point during the meal; similar to whole olives vs tapenade, a whole chilli vs fine-diced, whole cardamom.. etc.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 19:59
  • Whole...or large slices..are also easy to see and remove, if you don't want them in your mouth.
    – moscafj
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 20:00
  • That too! It's whole smorgasbord of potential delights (or bits left on the side of your plate) :)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 20:01

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