The pungency from raw garlic comes from a sulfur containing compound that is released when the cell wall is damaged.
Allicin is a volatile compound, and it overpowers the natural sweetness of garlic.
However, the enzyme responsible for the production of Allicin can be deactivated heat.
Therefore, to mellow the pungent garlicky flavor in raw garlic, garlic can be cooked.
Cooked garlic could be in the form of roasted garlic and garlic confit.
Roasted garlic and garlic confit are two preparations where garlic is softened to a spreadable consistency with a sweet flavor.
In this post we are going to learn more about these two preparations of garlic and highlight the differences between them.
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Differences between garlic confit and roasted garlic
Roasting and confit are methods of cooking used to make garlic sweeter and softer to get to a spreadable consistency.
For roasted garlic, a small amount of olive oil is drizzled over the garlic cloves which are cooked in the oven, while for garlic confit, the garlic is immersed in olive oil and simmered.
Compared to garlic confit, you do not have to peel the garlic before you roast them.
Roasting Involves a higher temperature and it is a lot faster than making garlic confit.
The browning in garlic confit is also less compared to oven roasted garlic.
What is roasted garlic?
Roasting involves using dry heat from a heat source to cook food.
Garlic can be roasted in the oven.
The whole cloves can also be roasted with their peels on.
Roasting only needs a small amount of oil.
The top of the garlic is cut off, and olive oil is drizzled over the garlic. You can also wrap the garlic with foil.
The peels are browned when roasted, and the sugar in the garlic caramelizes.
Roasted garlic has a subtle sweet and buttery flavor.
In addition to making the garlic sweeter, roasting softens the garlic cloves so that they can easily be squeezed from the peels.
What is garlic confit?
To confit is a French technique of cooking. It involves immersing food in oil, after which the food is also cooked over low heat.
These foods acquire a tender texture and a rich flavor in the process of making confit; a popular example is duck confit.
For most confits, the fat where the food is simmered is usually rendered from the food like in duck confit, however in garlic confit, raw garlic cloves are submerged in olive oil since fats cannot be rendered from it.
Garlic confit is great for peeled garlic.
You can add herbs for more flavor when making garlic confit.
The garlic cloves become soft to a spreadable consistency. The cloves also acquire a sweetness as the pungency in raw garlic is mellowed.
In garlic confit, the cooked garlic also infuses its flavor to the olive oil which can be used to a dip, a dressing
How to use roasted garlic and garlic confit
Roasted garlic and garlic confit can be used in dishes like pasta where they serve as garnishes.
They can both be used for garlic butter and garlic sauce. They also be used to make salad dressing.
You can also use them as a spread on toast or on breads like bruschetta.
They could be used this way for baking.