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Garlic: Is there an easy way to peel garlic?

Frank e-mailed the Kitchen Shrink that he likes to use lots of garlic but hates to pick the white papery skin off. He wondered if there is an easy way to do this.

I usually arrange the cloves, with a flat side down, on my work surface and whack them with the flat side of a heavy knife. The skin pops right off.  If you feel uncomfortable with that, press on them with something flat such as a wide spatula or the bottom of a can. There are also some clever devices on the market such as a flexible tube that removes the skin.  You can take a look at them in your favorite kitchen shop or online at Williams Sonoma.

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