Why does fresh garlic added to pureed cauliflower make the puree inedible?

I use pureed cauliflower instead of masked potatoes. I normally add fresh crushed garlic to the potatoes but when I add it to the pureed cauliflower, the mixture burns the throat and stomach and is totally inedible. A chemical reaction??

  • Posted by: Bobette
  • January 9, 2013


Bobette February 26, 2013
Thank you for the explanation. I apologize for being over-sensitive to the facetiousness if that was the case. :-(
creamtea February 26, 2013
Sorry, Bobette, ChefOno was right. The answers at allexperts.com for the cauliflower question struck me as so ridiculous as reluctant cook noted. I should have clarified. The so-called expert criticized the poster's combination of ingredients as strange, criticized the avoidance of any given food group (potatoes) and advised eating a potato with a slab of butter. The "expert's" entire response was tone-deaf. I would never criticize someone w/allergic reactions. Whew.

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno February 26, 2013

Um, Bobette? I think creamtea was sarcastically mocking the judgmental boob.

[Ono backs cautiously away to avoid getting hit with the flying brickbats...]

Bobette February 25, 2013
First, because I have an allergy to potatoes. Second, cauliflower is MUCH healthier, has far more nutrients, has a lower glycemic index and has fewer empty calories. Any other stupid questions, Cramtea? Next time you don't have an answer, DON'T POST.
creamtea February 25, 2013
"Cauliflower? Why would you eat cauliflower? Why not have a spoonful of potato with a slab o'butter?" Geez.
creamtea February 25, 2013
"Cauliflower? Why would you eat cauliflower? Why not have a spoonful of potato with a slab o'butter?" Geez.
ChefOno February 25, 2013

And wrong. If you're going to be a condescending, judgmental boob, you should at least get your facts straight.

the R. February 25, 2013
(Is it just me, or did anyone else think the responding "expert" on allexpert.com was a bit of a condescending, judgemental boob?)
Bobette February 25, 2013
Yes, he was a real jerk! And didn't know what he was talking about.
Bobette February 25, 2013
Yes, he was a real jerk! And didn't know what he was talking about.
Jason W. January 13, 2013
By chance is the garlic old?

I like to confit garlic cloves in a neutral oil in the oven for till they are soft and full of flavor. You can use the garlic oil from some dishes and the soft cloves for others.
Ophelia January 11, 2013
This seems to be an issue for more people that just you, but I almost always add raw minced garlic to my pureed cauliflower and have never had a problem with it and a lot of recipes include it (some cook it some don't) maybe it's one of those weird super-taster type things, you and certain other people can taste it or are more reactive to certain chemicals. My only suggestion is to cook the garlic before you add it, you can add it to the cauliflower while it's cooking or you can brown whole cloves in their skin in a dry skillet to get a nice roasty flavor really fast without having to use the oven.
trampledbygeese January 10, 2013
I have the same trouble with raw garlic and cauliflower. It really gets my throat, but cooked is fine, even partially cooked.

Raw garlic with most foods is fine for me, in fact I've been known to eat a but or two (not just a clove, a whole bud) from time to time. But certain veg just combing badly with raw garlic, don't know why.
Greenstuff January 10, 2013
And, now that you have me intrigued...have you looking into oral allergy syndrome? I read that sensitivity to mugwort can cause reaction to garlic and cauliflower (as well as a number of other herbs and vegetables). Cooking destroys the allergenic proteins.
Greenstuff January 10, 2013
Have you considered allicin sensitivity? It's what gives garlic its harsh taste and is also present in cauliflower, so maybe it puts you over the edge. I'd think you'd also experience other raw garlic problems if it were that simple, but I'm casting about... (I assume this problem has been repeatable.)
Gourmando January 9, 2013
A recent post from America's Test Kitchen or maybe it was in Cooks illustrated suggested steeping raw chopped garlic in lemon juice to eliminate bitterness.
Greenstuff January 9, 2013
Interesting. I don't have an answer, but you aren't the only one this has happened to: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Food-Allergies-3596/2011/12/cauliflower-raw-garlic.htm
trampledbygeese January 10, 2013
That's a neat link Greenstuff. Like the poster in the link, I also have a sensitivity to too much food from the nightshade family. I really gets my joints and can cause blisters in my mouth.

Like the OP here, I also have a similar response to cauliflower and raw garlic together, but can handle garlic raw on it's own no problem. Some raw onion and veg combinations also cause blisters in my mouth.

Love to learn why this is.
Bobette January 9, 2013
I will do that next time--it's also been suggested that I add roasted garlic after I've pureed the cauliflower. But I'm really curious about the chemical reaction that takes place when the raw garlic and the pureed cauliflower are mixed. It's an extraordinary reaction and really does totally ruin the puree!
SMSF January 9, 2013
While I don't have any reason to think its a chemical reaction, I do have a suggestion for next time. Just add the garlic clove(s) to the cauliflower or potatoes while they're boiling or steaming - even just for the last few minutes of cooking time. I use this method for mashed potatoes every time, and it gives the garlic a rounder flavor (not harsh or sharp)that really complements the potatoes and eliminates surprise garlic chunks. I don't see why this wouldn't work with cauliflower as well. Maybe give that a try?
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