Pickled Garlic

My grandmother smelled like garlic all the time because she spent a lot of time pickling it:

All the grand kids would get in on the action if we were there while she was making it. I really loved helping her in the kitchen when I was really young, around 5 or 6 years old, so I would always volunteer to peel the garlic cloves. I felt really fucking useful and awesome, peeling away with my chubby little kid hands. But because I was so young, my patience meter did fall rapidly after 15 minutes and I would dump the unpeeled cloves into the jars. Luckily, this wasn’t a big deal to my grandmother.

When I make this pickled garlic recipe, I peel about half of the cloves for no rational reason. It’s like a surprise in every bite. The peeled garlic cloves are more salty than garlicky, and the unpeeled ones have that sharp fresh garlic flavor with a umami punch. If you’re a pickle hater, it’s really not as vinegary or sour as the pickle flavor you probably have in your mind: instead of using a harsh white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, I used a delicate and sweet rice wine vinegar. Give it a try!

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