SirTK Image
08/25/2009 - 03:05

At La Dolce Vita exhibition at Olympia this year I bought a jar of garlic cloves preserved in a pizzaiola type oil and vinegar mixture.It is just amazing for snacking, the whole cloves are really crunchy with a fairly mild flavour of the garlic and the carrier, not at all hot, bitter or too strongly flavoured.My problem is that what is left of the jar is in England so I can't find details of the source here in Italy. Any clues (or close alternatives) anyone?I also looked to see if I could make my own but came across dire warnings of the potential for botulism, so maybe won't go there. Terry


There are some excellent preparations not only with garlic cloves but also with mushrooms, peppers and other vegetables. I would only keep those home made preparations in the fridge, for a limited time and as long as the garlic and vegetables are completely covered in liquid. This is particularly the case if oil is used. If you only preserve them "sott' aceti" (in vinegar), they may keep longer, but always in the fridge. It is also a good idea to sterilize jars before and after they have been filled. You do this in a "bain-marie" in the oven at 90ªC for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also use a slow cooker if you have one.

 I keep loads of veg and herbs under oil and vinegar.They last for a year or more if kept in the fridge. Peeled and minced garlic covered by oil keeps well in the fridge. I also find freezing whole corriander leaves in the freezer best way of preserving my home grown corriander. Have tried putting Corriander minced in jars covered with oil & it's ok but not as good at retaining the delicate flavour as freezing. I also put basil in jars after liquidising it with lots of oil this keeps well and tastes brill dribbled on bread, over pasta etc.Sprat

You are right, Sprat, some herbs tend to loose flavour; however, it is always good to have them at hand if we don´t have any fresh ones available. Marinating in oil and vinegar is a very ancient method to preserve food and it is delicious. You can also add the liquids to cooking as they are very nicely flavoured.  

It seems all the other antipasti and herbs etc are easy to do either at home or bought from the shop, but that whole garlic cloves are hard to find. Surely someone must have come across a supply. As I said earlier, googling for home-made garlic preserve focussed on warnings about botulism, so put me right off.

Just got back from a shopping trip to our local HyperMarket - Iper Co-op at Castel di Lama near Ascoli Piceno - and they stock the items that I've already told you about, plus in the fruit & veg department a similar product packaged in a flat plastic tray and found where you can get the sun dried tomatoes etc in the same sort of container.For info; the Co-ops in our area come under the collective 'banner' of Co-op Adriatica, however I note that you're CO which I presume is Como, so you will probably come under Co-op Estense - www.e-coop.itHope this helps...

I also thank you, Andrew. I have used their products in the past, particularly artichokes and aubergines, but I never tried the garlic cloves although I buy a similar product in Spain. I recognised the jars when I saw the photos. I also had a look at the description and I can see that they put some additives, which certainly protect from the dangers of botulism... providing you don´t keep the product too long once it has been opened and always in the fridge.