Why You Need To Start Pickling Garlic

Correction 6/13/22: A previous version of this article conflated the health benefits of fermented garlic with those of pickled garlic; that has been removed.

Unless you're a part of the British royal family and have sworn off garlic and onions, chances are you like the intense smell and taste of the freshly peeled and sliced bulbs. How could you not? 

Garlic is a staple in a number of cuisines, such as Italian and Chinese food. Not to mention, it's a culinary favorite among chefs and home cooks, partly due to its pungent aroma. There's even the three-day Gilroy Garlic Festival held in Gilroy, California, that celebrates all things garlic. It's no wonder garlic is revered as a powerhouse root vegetable.  

Now, TikTok is making pickling garlic cool, too. TikToker @LalaLeluu posted a video featuring spicy pickled garlic, enticing viewers to try the kimchi-inspired snack. While eating a spoonful of this savory treat, the TikToker shows a jar of natural pickled garlic drained of the vinegar — not the kind packed in oil — and shares how they customized it by adding sriracha, chili flakes, and thyme. With its many uses, benefits, and awesome flavor, pickled garlic might just be the next big thing in the culinary world.

Pickled garlic has a mild flavor

If you want to try out a pickled garlic recipe, there are a few things you need to know. First, pickled garlic tastes nothing like raw garlic. According to Tablespoon, when you pickle garlic, its flavor becomes less biting to the taste buds. The blog describes its flavor as "mellow," "soft," and "sweet" — not exactly how we'd describe the taste of raw garlic. If you've ever had an upset stomach after eating raw garlic, pickling could be the solution.

Tablespoon also notes that pickled garlic is perfect for antipasto and sandwiches. It will add a lovely flavor to your dishes without overpowering them.

And in addition to its mellow, pleasing taste, pickled garlic, like all forms of garlic, has a treasure trove of health benefits. According to one study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2019, garlic supplements were linked to lower blood pressure. And another study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2001 found that garlic supplements could help prevent the common cold.