Garlic is a valuable culinary herb well-known for its pungent flavor and numerous garlic health benefits that it offers. Fresh garlic is known to be the most beneficial variety to be used either crushed or chopped. Whether you grow garlic on your own or you buy it from your local market or supermarket, knowing how to store garlic properly will enable you keep it fresh for a long time.
Before learning how to store garlic, you should first lean how to pick good quality garlic. Quality garlic have firm bulbs with abundant thin, paper-like covering that protects its cloves. Avoid buying garlic that is soft and spongy with sprouts. Also avoid those with dark patches under the skin.
If you’re harvesting your own garlic bulbs, first brush the dirt off the garlic bulbs gently. Remove soil and debris by brushing them thoroughly yet gently to prevent damaging the cloves. You can use the stalks as braids to hang the garlic for air drying. Make sure the garlic bulbs are away from direct sunlight.
Drying the garlic bulbs thoroughly develops and concentrates the garlic flavor, so we recommend drying the bulbs for as long as possible. When the garlic is thorough drying, it is time to trim those dangling roots and stems away. The trimming process will have no effect on the flavor of the garlic, but it would make the storing process tidier. Store the garlic bulbs in a cool dry place. A wire basket, a mesh bag or a brown paper bag are very good examples. Storage locations that are dry, dark, and well-ventilated can keep garlic bulbs fresh for three to five months and sometimes even longer.
If you purchased garlic bulbs from a grocery, remove them from the plastic bag as soon as you get home. Place the bulbs in an uncovered dish and store it in a cool dry place, such as a cabinet. There are also clay garlic pots that you can buy. These simple storage pots are made from clay with small holes to provide adequate ventilation. These clay pots are a good buy as they are relatively inexpensive and can help extend the storage time of garlic.
It is also important to know what should be avoided when storing garlic. Avoid sealed containers and plastic bags to prevent mold from growing on the garlic bulbs. Storing garlic in the refrigerator will only shorten the storage time and introduce moisture. Moisture will only encourage the growth of molds and promote the decomposition of garlic.
Proper storage of peeled garlic cloves, on the other hand, is entirely different. Peeled garlic cloves should be placed in an airtight glass jar. You can submerge them in olive oil to help keep them fresh. Make sure that the jar is firmly sealed and then store in a refrigerator or a freezer. It is imperative that garlic in oil remain constantly chilled to prevent bacteria growth. Whenever you take peeled cloves from the jar, remember to seal and return the jar to the refrigerator or freezer immediately.