Question of the day: Where do you keep your garlic? Let me know in the comments below!
There’s nothing like finding a mound of fresh garlic, in from the local farms. I came across a bin at a local fruiterie yesterday. Ah, the season’s first garlic.
The garlic we get year round usually comes from China. I’m not here to judge; I’ve bought it too. It’s cheap, for around two dollars you can get five heads stuffed into a mesh sack.
How can you compare those insipid white papery balls with the tightly packed green bulbs that transition into that awesome lavender purple at the end?
When the garlic comes into season, why not choose local? Here’s how:
How I select my garlic
Garlic is planted in the fall a couple weeks before the first frost, so the local stuff is ready around July to the end of October.
- Pick up the garlic bulb. How tight is the papery skin wrapped around the cloves? If you can see obvious separation of the individual cloves, back it goes.
- Are there any blemishes on the garlic? A nick or a cut will quickly turn.
- Are there any black or grey spots inside the papery skin? This means the garlic is older, and is around time to go.
- Can you see any green shoots coming out of the end of the garlic? If so, they have been there a while.
- Gently squeeze the head. The cloves should be hard and have no give. Soft garlic will be mush in days.
- Smell the head. If you can smell a pungent garlic smell, then for sure you have something old. You are looking for a faint garlic smell.
Opinions differ on whether to store it on the fridge or in the pantry. Honestly, I think it depends on where you are cooking at, and how fast you use the garlic.
I’ve read books that say you should never store garlic in the fridge. They are not wrong (for the home cook,) but restaurant municipal regulations disagree.
For me, it’s better to order or buy what you can use up in a week or two and store it in the fridge.
I keep my garlic in a drawer away from cucumbers and apples. (They give off ethylene gas that will cause the garlic to go to mush.)
I don’t have an issue with garlic going bad because I use it almost everything. If you see your garlic starting to sprout, you will need to use it up quickly.
Where do you keep your garlic? Let me know in the comments!