Tuesday 6 April 2010

Very Lazy Garlic

In France, there are two words for "cooking" - "cuisiner", which is real cooking from scratch, and "faire à manger", which is literally "making something to eat", often involving reheating leftovers or ready meals, multi-tasking and microwaves. Before the kids came along, I used to do loads of cooking from scratch but now I often just don't have the time. I do still enjoy making tasty meals with fresh ingredients but most of the time, it's definitely more "faire à manger" than "cuisiner" and if there's a shortcut to be had, I'll take it ! Let's face it, I'm not the only overstretched working mum out there - even Delia Smith has tapped into the market with her "How To Cheat at Cooking" recipe book combining fresh ingredients with high quality processed "shortcut" ingredients.

Well, when I was recently told about Very Lazy Garlic, I could immediately understand how it would be a useful timesaver. I know that by gently frying garlic and onions before browning off the chicken or mince or whatever I'm cooking, it will give it a lovely depth of flavour - but with the girls squabbling and Pierre starting to cry because he wants his food, I rarely get round to doing it ! Another bonus is the lack of washing-up awkward garlic crushers after cooking and no more having garlic-smelling fingers all day long !

I assumed the Very Lazy Garlic would be like the supermarket tubes of garlic puree or paste, but it's totally different. It's not a paste or a puree at all. It's tiny little chunks of recognisably-real chopped garlic in white wine vinegar. I was a bit dubious when I first opened the jar because it smells vaguely of pickled onions, but I decided to give it a go anyway and use it in the spaghetti bolognese I was preparing for dinner and see if anyone noticed.

Well, suffice to say, nobody did ! Even Sophie's friend, who was staying over on her very first sleepover and who is - according to her mum - a very picky eater, tucked in and said it was delicious (as you can see in the photo above). I had sneaky taste while it was cooking just after adding the Very Lazy Garlic, and could detect a slight tang from the vinegar which was actually not at all unpleasant. But when I served it up, the whole vinegar taste had disappeared so it presumably evaporates during the cooking process. I could taste the garlic though, which tasted just like fresh garlic, with no vinegary aftertaste or artificial background taste that you get with some shop-bought pastes and purees.

It is absolutely simple to use. As they say on the website, "Forget peeling & crushing, simply replace one clove of garlic with one teaspoon of Very Lazy Garlic to save time in the kitchen.
Perfect for stir fries, sauces, dressings and casseroles." Once opened, it will keep in the fridge for 12 weeks so it's fabulous as a store cupboard basic that can be incorporated into pretty much any savoury dishes you're preparing.

It's an absolute Godsend for overstretched mums who can go back to being Domestic Goddesses in the kitchen ! As they say on the Very Lazy website, "We do all the hard work for you, so you can enjoy being a great Very Lazy cook - and just get on with the fun, exciting bits (and taking all the credit)." Sounds good to me !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £1.74 for 4oz


  1. Hi there, can't believe we missed your review, we've been waiting in anticipation for everyone's feedback as we really do want to unleash the inner chef in those not keen on cooking and as you so rightly said, let the Domestic Goddesses get their mojos back! Thanks so much for your kind words and we're so over the moon about our star rating.

  2. Cant believe no one mentioned the fact that when you actually store it in the fridge as per instrucions on the jar it will acually taint everything in the fridge!
    When yuou have to throw away £20 worh of shopping its actually a very expensive jar of garlic!

  3. Did you put the lid on ? It's in a sealed jar so it shouldn't have any effect on anything else in the fridge. Certainly no smells or flavour transfers here ???

  4. I notice a distinct smell of garlic in the fridge, especially if you don't replace the lid correctly. I have started keeping it in the cupboard instead.

  5. If you don't put the lid on properly, that makes sense ! No problems here.


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