Kitchen Hack Review: One-shake Garlic Peeling

In this video, Martha Stewart demonstrates an easy way to peel garlic.

Martha Stewart and her guests shake a bowl to peel a bulb of garlic.
Martha Stewart and her guests shake a bowl to peel a bulb of garlic.

She breaks a bulb of garlic into separate cloves, throws those cloves into a bowl and places a second bowl over the first to form a sphere-like shape. Her guests then vigorously shake the bowls, opening them up to reveal a pile of peeled garlic cloves.

At first, I was leery of this new technique. Up until now, the women of my family have all been using the traditional, five-step method to peeling garlic.

  1. Cut off the ends of the garlic.
  2. Begin to peel, removing one clean strip, followed by several tiny flakes. Realize that peeling garlic is an awful lot like peeling wallpaper. Scratch at the clinging skin, scraping off a hunk of the garlic’s flesh along with it.
  3. Realize that you hate garlic. Who needs garlic, anyway?
  4. Give one last halfhearted tug on your way to the trash can.
  5. You’re done!

This is the rite of passage by which a girl becomes an incredibly frustrated woman who just wasted the last ten minutes of her life peeling garlic.

But perhaps our ways are too cruel. Perhaps we don’t have to enter adulthood among a bed of garlic skin and a lullaby of obscenities.

Recently, I tried Martha Stewart’s fancy new garlic peeling idea.

I broke off a single clove of garlic (for last post’s teriyaki salmon recipe), dropped it in a bowl, and set a second bowl on top.

I shook those bowls like garlicky maracas. I wandered around my apartment with my arms jittering. That garlic flew around like the winning numbers in a lottery ball machine.

I tried, folks.

In the end, though, nothing happened. The garlic’s skin hadn’t even fluttered, let alone flaked off.

This is what my garlic would have looked like if this trick had actually worked.
This is what my garlic would have looked like if this trick had actually worked.

So, my more knowledgeable readers, where did I go wrong? Was it my tiny bowls? The fact that I used only one clove, not a whole bulb? My complete lack of upper body strength?

Or is Martha Stewart just a big phony?

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