Garlic Kisses


Five Minutes (plus one hour in the oven)

How do you say, “I love you?” 

Surely, the Hershey Company considered this question when they first introduced Hershey’s Kisses in 1907. Over a century later, not much has changed. Production has been mechanized and spinoffs have come and gone, but the original Kiss remains, dauntless in a suit of silver foil.

A Hershey’s Kiss, at the right place and time, will always seduce feelings of sweet nostalgia (Valentine’s Day, anyone?). It’s not the chocolate itself, but the whole aluminum-wrapped, teardrop package. It embodies the tender gesture of giving, the specialness of a treat. It is luscious, simple, and distinct; a universal currency of affection.

Hershey’s Kiss, meet Garlic Kiss. Gentle, warm, and maddeningly irresistible. On the outside, they’re playfully reminiscent of Hershey’s chocolate morsels. Within a twist of warm foil lie sweet nuggets of silky garlic gold.

The languages of love are countless. Some are unspoken. The sharing of food, cooked with care and from a common plate, might be our species’ earliest demonstration of devotion.

Garlic Kisses are meant to be shared--on bread, in salad dressings, or right out of the wrapper.

Whole roasted garlic says “I love you” in a whole new way.

The Goods:

At least one whole head of garlic

1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil per head of garlic, depending on size

Salt, to taste

The Process:

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Peel off the outer layers of garlic skin. Just the ones that come off easily.

Cut off the top ¼ to ⅓ of each head of garlic. If you have a hard-neck variety and can’t get through the stem, cut your way around the neck so that the tops of the cloves are exposed. Save any tops that have a fair bit of garlic left in them.

Prepare (minimum) 6-inch squares of aluminum foil, one for each head of garlic. 

Place the garlic centered on the foil, cut-side up. Drizzle the olive oil onto the exposed cloves. Put any saved tops back on the cut heads, like little hats.

Wrap them up like Hershey’s Kisses, folding up the sides up and twisting the top closed.

Set in the oven for one hour. If your garlic heads are on the smaller side, you may want to start checking them earlier, though they are generously difficult to overcook.

However you decide to enjoy your Kisses, finish with salt.


* Exact cooking temperatures are flexible. Next time you have your oven on, consider making some Garlic Kisses on the side--they sit happily, right on the oven shelf.

* If you are having trouble cutting off the tops, try a serrated knife.

* Today, Hershey’s Kisses come in a variety of flavors. We can do the same with Garlic Kisses. A sprig of thyme, a few rosemary needles, or some chili pepper, for example, can perfume your Kisses with wonderfully subtle flavors.


Geoffrey Van