I love using my garlic press, but my sister says it’s better to chop garlic, and she points out that chefs on television tend to chop. Why is that? Is chopped garlic better than pressed garlic for cooking? Is there a difference in taste?
If you love your garlic press, you can hold your head high. These tools can be pretty handy—especially when you have a lot of garlic cloves to crush.
At the same time, your sister is right: chefs do tend to chop their garlic rather than pressing it. Why? They think pressed garlic is too watery, loses too much pulp to the screen, and, most importantly, tastes a little bitter. To briefly explain, garlic gets its flavor from sulfur compounds in its cells; pushing a clove through a press ruptures the cells more than chopping does, thus releasing more of these compounds. That’s why when chefs want milder garlic flavors in, say, pastas, they opt to slice the garlic rather than chop it.
However, what matters most is what you like, and if you appreciate the convenience of your press and like the flavor of pressed garlic, there’s no reason to switch to chopped garlic. Leave the extra work to the chefs!