Garlic is an ingredient I could never give up, and I’ve resigned myself to living with the smelly reality of it. I’ve tried the lemon-salt-scrubbing trick. I’ve tried bicarb soda. Neither totally eliminate the pungent aroma garlic leaves in its wake. But Cook’s Illustrated has a new trick for me to try, and it involves a potato. Photo by Sarah D.
What makes the spud so special? Enzymes, my friends, specifically polyphenol oxidase. According to Cook’s Illustrated, this enzyme “can oxidize sulfurous compounds, including the thiols and thiocyanates that give garlic its pungent odor, turning them into odourless compounds”. Hooray!
Apples also contain polyphenol oxidase, and can also be used to combat cutting board funk. Whichever one you’re using, make sure it is fresh; prepared products like applesauce or powdered mashed potatoes won’t do the trick. (Not that you guys have powdered mashed potatoes in your house.)
Wipe out Garlic Odor on Cutting Boards [Cook’s Illustrated]