Ask the Critic: Garlic-Be-Gone 

How can I rid my hands of the smell of fresh garlic?

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Question: Whenever I use fresh garlic, my hands smell garlicky for days after. Any suggestions for getting out the garlic?

There are a couple of really easy fixes for ridding yourself of unwanted garlic odor from peeling and using garlic in the kitchen. First, for about five bucks, you can purchase a nifty little tool that peels the skins from the garlic super fast and easy. A number of companies make them. It's essentially nothing more than a flexible rubber/plastic tube—you could probably make one yourself from cheap materials purchased at Home Depot. You simply insert the unpeeled garlic cloves into the tube and roll it, pressing lightly with your hand, on the kitchen counter or cutting board. The garlic skins magically come right off, and you've got peeled garlic ready to use.

Still, you might get garlic smells on your hands from mincing the garlic. In that case, simply rub your fingers for a half-minute or so on stainless steel or metal, such as the sides of a stainless steel sink. I usually carefully rub my fingers along the flat side of a chef's knife. I don't understand the chemistry involved, but somehow the garlic odors disappear when they come into contact with metal.

In two-plus decades of food and wine writing and restaurant reviews, I’ve learned a lot of valuable tips and tricks from professional cooks, sommeliers and chefs. Got a cooking, wine or general restaurant question? Send it to me, and I’ll do my best to find an answer.

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