Just to add a bit of clarification on the process... The pungent nature of garlic
is carried by the oils within it, which happen to have a rather low vapor pressure
, but fairly high dissolution and absorption rates, hence why they can be easily emitted from the garlic
(which obviously has high concentrations) and doesn't really come out of anything else. Now, the removal of the pungence is a reaction based on heat when the oils interact with some of the other binding carbohydrates
and/or cell membranes (I don't remember which it was)
of the garlic and it forms sugars. This is why a) garlic that has been cooked in larger pieces instead of smaller ones comes out sweeter, and b) why it comes out softer. For the same reasons, when breaking the garlic, and releasing the oils before the cooking process, it will be soaked into the rest of the food, or even the pan, which more than likely does not have the proper structure to form those sugars.
Also of note, adding extra oil (i.e. olive oil
) to the garlic, when cooking, will break down even more membranes and bindings, so it becomes extra sweet and soft. Coming soon: Roasted Garlic for 2