HELP! My darling husband has started dinner for us, but upon tasting the tomato sauce for our lasagne, it seems the garlic was off! It tastes like damp, wet, mildew, blah! Is there anything I can do to fix this? I have tried adding a little sugar, but it hasn't made much difference. DH is willing to throw it, but I'm hoping it can be salvaged! Thanks

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    Damp mildew? I'd bin it just to be safe. – Stephie Jan 20 '16 at 9:20

Unless your garlic has fungus growing on it or is badly discolored it's unlikely this flavor is from it. Garlic generally keeps very well and is still safe to use, and still flavorful even when it's a bit shriveled.

It's much more likely these off flavors are coming from another ingredient, and could be a sign of some sort of contamination, in which case you should chuck it. Even if it isn't you can't get rid of the flavor, so my recommendation should be to get rid of it and order some take-out.

  • You might be onto something ... usually, spoiled garlic looks evidently spoiled enough that it will be noticed as such while preparing it (with one exception: green sprout if not paid attention to). – rackandboneman Jan 20 '16 at 11:46
  • mildewy, wet, damp... might it be spoiled dried herbs or pepper? – rackandboneman Jan 20 '16 at 11:52
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    A green sprout is not that big deal with garlic @rackandboneman, as long as you use it soon after. It's not spoiled, it's germinated. Don't throw it out, plant it and you'll get a whole bulb! – GdD Jan 20 '16 at 12:34
  • mildewy, wet, damp - it could be spoiled herbs, rancid cooking oil, old meat, a can of off tomatoes, who knows? – GdD Jan 20 '16 at 12:35
  • Green sprouts are harmless of course, but you would want to remove them from garlic that goes into something you want to stew. Sorry for the ambiguity. – rackandboneman Jan 20 '16 at 12:49

No, you cannot salvage it.

First, once a flavor is in a dish, there is no way to remove it. Masking it slightly (which diverts the attention from it but does not remove it) and dilution are possibilities, but removal isn't.

Second, mildew is mold, and many species of mold are toxic to humans. As there is no way to find out if yours is toxic or harmless, eating it puts you at risk of landing in the hospital with something unpleasant - certainly not worth risking over a 10 bucks pot of stew.

  • Well, I find the generalization "all flavors, always, are never removable" a bit broad, given some flavor compounds can be destroyed or altered by heat, cold, acid, alkalines, evaporation (technically dilution :). But yeah, in his case if there is a flavor that doesn't belong and where it isnt even certain what the flavor is or how it got into the sauce- agreed, toss. – rackandboneman Jan 20 '16 at 11:51

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