What is the difference between garlic powder and granulated garlic? Is there a way to substitute fresh garlic in recipes calling for these?
Nancy Clark, Portland, OR
The difference in these forms is merely texture, garlic powder having a flour-like consistency and granulated garlic being coarser, like fine cornmeal. Most reputable manufacturers sell 100% pure versions of both, but occasionally you will find additives to improve flow or prevent caking. Fresh and dried garlic are really poor substitutes for each other. You wouldn’t sauté with garlic powder, as it burns too easily, and you wouldn’t attempt a dry barbecue rub with chopped fresh garlic, because it wouldn’t blend in thoroughly. What most people describe as the “heat” found in fresh garlic dissipates in the drying process, and a different sort of intensity emerges. While fresh garlic is wonderful—and I would never be without it—I believe it’s a case of “different but equally useful” when it comes to the various forms.