Thursday, September 3, 2015

Seer Torshi, Revisited and Challenged

Last April I tried the "quick" method for producing Seer Torshi or Persian Pickled Garlic.  You can read about it here:

It has been more than four months so I gave it a try:

The Verdict

I found the cloves of garlic to be tender (but not mushy), sour with a touch of sweet, and with a mellow garlic flavor that made me happy to eat it instead of blasted away and worried that others would smell it on my breath.

Really quite tasty with an added boon that the cloves slipped easily out of their peel with a gentle squeeze.

My guest taster and I had them as an accompaniment to a dinner of pulled pork and coleslaw, and that was a good call.  My guest taster enjoyed them even more than I did, I think!

So they certainly are labeled as a success!

But next came the true challenge....

I shared some of the seer torshi with a Persian friend, someone who has had the really good stuff (aged fourteen years!) and knows what true seer torshi is supposed to taste like....

I crossed my fingers and hoped he didn't find it wanting as he took it home and tried it....

His response:  "Your seer torshi was better than Persian seer torshi."

Wow!  We agreed that he was being honest, not polite, and I was pleased to hear him say that I had done a good job on it.  He mentioned that the soft cloves made him think they had been aged a long time.

Then he gave me some of the seer torshi he buys in the Persian markets to do my own taste comparison.  This is not the well-aged version as that type is very expensive.

I thought it was acceptable but I felt that mine was better for these reasons:

The purchased torshi did not always slip out of the peel easily, and it was messy to pull the peel off with my fingers.
The vinegar flavor was harsh to my taste buds.
The cloves were harder and the garlic flavor almost too strong for me.  
Comparison shot.  Mine on the right.
My guest taster liked them both but I found myself going back to my homemade version more often than the store bought.

Definitely a success!  And good enough that I want to make a bunch of jars to give as gifts.

I am also intrigued with the idea of making a jar that has to age for years and years.  I'm not sure that is an option but it is fun to think about.

These were good as a side dish (really a condiment) to the main course.  I think they would also be good as an appetizer with other items, like cheeses, olives, pita bread pieces, and something a little salty.

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