I’ve seen, in many recipes, that the usage of garlic varies a lot.

For example: Meaty sauces normally require that the garlic is chopped and fried before the meat is added.

Neapolitan Pizzas usually add sliced, raw garlic in very thin slices to be cooked with the pizza

Some other sauces require crushed garlic to be crushed and fried (generally with onion) before adding other ingredients.

I’ve seen as well some recipes calling for a garlic paste, made with some salt and knife skills.

Lately, I’ve been using very thin slices of garlic added in the beginning/middle of the cooking process of the sauce.

My question: What is the difference between dicing, slicing, crushing, or making a paste? What is the difference between frying the garlic before or adding it to the cooking sauce? Which one adds more flavor?

Thanks in advance.

  • I'm voting to close this as being too broad, it's packing too much into one question. I suggest splitting it up.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 8:06
  • I was going to close as a duplicate, but maybe it is indeed answerable in its current state, and the duplicate targets list fewer modi of processing the garlic. So here they are as "related" questions: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/9805/… and cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/274/…
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


It's about fat. The magic taste dealer.
When you fry it you're actually making "garlic oil". Greatly infuse sauce with garlic taste.
Sliced garlic on pizza move garlic taste to frontier. It's the first thing you taste, then come tomato and mozzarella which ease the harsh garlic. And because there is little fat that came in contact the garlic taste is not transferred to whole dish.
Crushed is used to give most taste as it's destroyed along fibers so aroma is much stronger. That's why you fry it with onions. To have both tastes strong enough to infuse anything you mix it.


Dice or slice when the garlic will be consumed along with the other ingredients.

Crush in order to release more flavor. If you add it whole it can be removed afterwards.

Make paste when you don't want it to be visible and all its flavor to be strong and evenly distributed in the dish (e.g. hummus as it is a paste itself, you wouldn't want it to have little lumps in it).

Use whole garlic cloves in slow cooker, and it will release its scent and flavor with time. You can remove it afterwards, the flavor will be there regardless.

Processing it before adding other ingredients, makes it release its scent and get mild-flavored.

All methods except processing will add strong flavor to your dish. The paste will be the strongest, as you consume all of the garlic.

  • garlic also becomes sharper when cut (this effect ends when cooked), so whole cloves will be quite mild - i mean, just look at roasted whole garlic cloves vs chopped and sauteed, the latter is much stronger, sharper. Has something to do with exposure to air, I think?
    – Megha
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 6:51
  • 1
    ...and because when cut, it releases scent through rupture like it is quite well put in the chosen answer here cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/9805/…. It can be applied on almost anything e.g. when you rub mint leaves - rupture through friction takes place.
    – FunnyJava
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 7:36

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