On the bottle of Trader Joe’s Many Clove Garlic Cooking and Simmer Sauce, Joe himself lays it down, explaining that the jar contains garlic, “minced garlic, roasted garlic, garlic puree and granulated garlic”. That’s a lot of garlic, suckers. This is the sauce that Joe made to compensate for growing up in a garlic deprived household. There’s more garlic in here than there is in a clove of garlic. 110% of your USDA recommended annual allotment of garlic is in this sauce. This sauce is Trader Joe’s way of ensuring that no one ever kiss each ever again. Outside of the Stinking Rose, and Van Helsing’s kitchen, this is the most garlic you’re going to find in one place.
Open this jar up, dip a fork in, and put it right on your tongue. Feel that? That high burn that comes to the fore after a second? The way it zings your tongue? That’s the allicin at work – the same potent compound found in onions and chives. Famed for it’s antibacterial / anti-viral properties, what you’re feeling is Trader Joe’s Garlic Sauce actually cleaning your tongue. What I’m saying is, that’s a lot of garlic.
What we’re really tasting is a sauce known elsewhere as 40 Clove Garlic Sauce. A sauce made with exactly that – 40 cloves of garlic. According to Trader Joe’s own packaging, they didn’t keep count of how many cloves were jammed into this jar, which either means this sauce has more than 40 cloves, in which case someone needs to rein in the madmen in Trader Joe’s R&D, or it has less than 40 cloves, which case the thought of real 40 clove garlic sauce scares me.
But of course, this sauce isn’t meant as a dipping sauce or condiment, it’s a cooking and simmer sauce, and in such a role the garlicky nature of the sauce is much ameliorated. Mixed with pasta, or cooked up with chicken, this sauce retains its strong garlic flavor but mercifully loses the sting. If you like garlic this is a great sauce to work into any Italian inspired cooking. If you don’t, you still might want to give it a shot, because this is a garlic sauce done right. The garlic taste is heavy, but the creamy sauce isn’t – containing only a slender 4 grams of fat and 70 calories per ½ cup serving. The sodium on the other hand, is intense. 930 mg are packed into each serving, roughly 2/3rd of your daily recommend amount. Despite this sodium load, the sauce doesn’t taste notably salty. Mostly it all vanishes in the garlic blitzkrieg.
I like this sauce, but I’m also a man who went through a phase where I chewed up a raw clove of garlic every morning based a vague notion that it was supposed to enhance your endurance. This sauce may well be just too garlicky for some folks there, but for the rest of the population I have to give it a hearty, and healthy, recommendation.
Would I Recommend It: Yes, unless you’re sensitive to garlic, or a Transylvania count.
Would I Buy It Again: A healthy, creamy Italian cooking sauce? Absolutley.
Final Synopsis: Very low fat, very high sodium, very, very garlicky sauce.