I tried that spicy pickled garlic that's all over TikTok right now — here's what I really thought

Sidra Sheikh
·3 min read

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I tried the spicy pickled garlic that's going viral on TikTok.
I tried the spicy pickled garlic that's going viral on TikTok.

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I'm usually like a vampire when it comes to garlic, unless it's garlic bread. So when I saw the latest viral TikTok food trend, I was disgusted. 

But as always, curiosity got the best of me, and I started watching video after video of users trying the trend — and claiming that it's worth the try.

Pickled garlic started gaining traction on the app a couple of weeks ago when TikTok user lalaleluu shared a video showing how she makes the snack, and claiming that she eats a whole jar in one sitting. 

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The comment section was full of skeptics who couldn't believe that this was truly an enjoyable and edible snack. Some, however compared it to kimchi, which is a popular Korean fermented side dish.

"My jaw dropped when that wasn't a condiment," said one commenter. 

Others were worried about the potential smelly breath, heartburn and stomach issues. 

"Am I the only one smelling your breath through the screen?" said another.

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I put this viral food trend to the test to see how it really holds up. Here's what you need to know about spicy pickled garlic.

The details

First things first — this is pickled garlic, not raw garlic. Although many TikTok users seem to be confusing the two, they're actually very different. 

Pickled garlic is softer, has a sweeter flavour and does not have the same strong smell as the garlic you're likely used to.

To prepare the viral snack, first the vinegar needs to be drained from the pickled garlic jar. Next, siracha, chili powder and thyme is added and finally everything is to be shaken together.

Sriracha Being Added To Pickled Garlic Jar [Photo via Sidra Sheikh]
Sriracha Being Added To Pickled Garlic Jar [Photo via Sidra Sheikh]

The amount of each of the ingredients is completely based on taste and there is no right or wrong amount — although the original poster does suggest to add "a lot" of each topping.

First impressions 

Initially, I had a hard time finding pickled garlic. Many big box grocery stores do not seem to carry it, but as many commenters suggested, it's easily available at most Asian grocery stores.

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I'll admit it took a lot for me to take that first bite, but when I did I was in complete shock. It tasted nothing like garlic — and it didn't even taste bad. I might have added a bit too much spice, though, because I definitely felt that heartburn right away. 

The verdict

If I ate this without knowing what it was, I would never guess that it was garlic. There was a slight hint of it towards the end, but apart from that it tasted nothing like typical garlic.

Surprisingly, I actually did enjoy the taste. It was tart, crunchy and spicy. The bite was similar to a soaked almond. I tried it with and without the toppings and it tastes fine on its own, but the toppings do add a nice kick. 

Next time, I would probably go much easier on the spice — but I honestly didn't mind it at all. That being said, I don't see myself eating a whole jar in one sitting anytime soon.

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