As part of Unit 11, there was an graded activity that involved sweating minced garlic for a study in flavor development. I was then instructed to write my thoughts and observations on the results. More...
In this activity, I observed the following:
In the gently sautéed version, the garlic water was a light color with a fragrant aroma. In the higher-heat fried version, the garlic water was quite dark with a bitter aroma.
In the gently sautéed version, the garlic water had a pleasant mild garlic flavor. In the higher-heat fried version, the garlic water had a sharp, pungent flavor that was unappealing.
Obviously, the gently sautéed version of the minced garlic was the only one that could have been used to make a dish. It was interesting that even the behavior of the liquid being added was different based on the heat. The water simmered gently in the low-heat version and vigorously spattered in the higher-heat version. The gently sautéed version would have no issue with taste or color if infused into a soup or sauce where the higher-heat version would impart a bitter flavor and unattractive color to anything you tried to add it to. I also found it interesting that the unappealing aroma (and resulting flavor) of the higher-heat version happened rather quickly; even before all the garlic had browned. So it would be important to toss out the whole lot if this happened and start over. Trying to save “what you could” would be short-sighted as the final dish would have been based on a bitter beginning. Oh and one last thing, the smell of overcooked garlic is not a pleasant scent to have lingering around the house =)