There are some things that one should always have in their kitchen, if they’re planning on cooking anything else than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Olive oil is one such obvious ingredient that you can’t be without. Onions are another, and if you like stuff that tastes good, then garlic should also be at the top of the list. I personally prefer fresh, local garlic over anything else, but there is a problem with that.
First of all, fresh local garlic is only available a few months a year here. Second, it’s is *dreadfully* expensive. Ridiculously so. So much I may never buy it again, on principle.
I therefore have to rely on what the grocery store offers, and generally speaking, it’s cheap Chinese garlic. Don’t get me wrong, it does the job, but California garlic is much tastier, and the bulbs are bigger. Better quality, overall, and it hasn’t traveled as far to get to my table. When I run out of “fresh” Chinese or California garlic, or when I’m feeling to lazy to cut and prepare it, I’m happy to fall back on Kirkland Signature Minced California Garlic, available only at Costco.
Now, let me get one thing straight right away: garlic that comes in a jar, even if it’s from Costco and bears the Kirkland Signature name, does *not* taste exactly like fresh garlic.
I usually would not use this type of garlic in a recipe that calls for raw, or uncooked garlic, as the taste will not be the same. The exception I make to this rule is my famous oil and garlic pasta, and I think it’s only because I’ve gotten used to the taste.
Overall, the Kirkland Signature Minced California Garlic tastes very … garlicky … although it is not nearly as strong and biting as actual raw garlic, not by a long shot. If you didn’t much care about having a social life, or friends, or talking to people in person, you could eat this garlic by the spoonful, something that would prove difficult for most people with fresh raw garlic.
The ingredients in the Minced California Garlic as simple: garlic, water and citric acid, which is used as a conservation agent. This gives the garlic a citrus-like after taste, which is not unpleasant but mostly disappears when the garlic is cooked.
My favorite use for this type of garlic is to include it in cooked recipe. When I’m in a rush, and the recipe calls for a few cloves a garlic, and they’re going to cook, I usually reach for my Kirkland Signature Minced Garlic. Quick, tasty and easy. That’s the ticket.
In terms of value, Costco is practically giving this stuff away. I bought a 1.36 kilogram jar of Minced California Garlic for the price of $5.79, Canadian dollars. According to the information on the jar, 2.5 ml, or half a teaspoon of the stuff, represents 1 clove of garlic. A quick, approximate calculation, and I say approximate since the jar is labeled by weight, in kilograms, and the equivalent is in volume, in mL. Thanks to the magic of the metric system, we can calculate that there are approximately the equivalent of 544 cloves of garlic in this jar.
This is a *lot*, and if we were to buy this much garlic, fresh and from California, it would cost a heck of a lot more than $5.79.
Here is the run-down of the information you need about this product:
- Name: Kirkland Signature Minced California Garlic
- Available at: Costco, Amazon (more expensive)
- Price: $5.79 (in Canada)
- Volume: 1.36 kilograms (3 pounds or 48 ounces)
- Price per serving (5 grams): $0.0212 (2.1 pennies)
- Provenance: United States
I don’t think you can buy garlic for that cheap, anywhere. While this Minced California Garlic is not a 100% substitute for the real thing, it works quite well as an occasional replacement and can last over a year (in the refrigerator) once opened. I heartily recommend it to anyone.