Enjoy Fresh Garlic? How to Pick the Best

There are few dishes garlic can’t enhance. But when you visit the supermarket, do you pick up the bulk bulbs or purchase individual garlic bulbs? The simplest method for getting fresh garlic is by purchasing bulbs individually so you can pick bulbs for their best traits. Solid bulbs usually hold the most zest, while smaller bulbs are usually weaker and shriveled. If your recipe asks for a certain number of cloves, size isn’t important, but pick the firmest bulbs you can find.

The Best way to Store Garlic

If you plan on buying fresh, whole bulbs of garlic from the store, these can be stored for many months if they are kept in a dark place at room temperature. Stashing it in a dark place will suppress the bulb from germinating. It’s important to know that when you remove the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life lessens. Also, placing the bulbs in an open container is ideal, or in a paper bag, egg carton or mesh bag. As long as there is decent flow of dry air, then you‘re good to go.

Pantries and cabinets are the best areas to keep garlic because they’re away from dampness and extreme temperatures. Don’t chill or freeze garlic because this dims the potency. Additionally, if garlic is refrigerated or stashed in plastic bags, it has an increased chance of molding. In ideal conditions, your bulbs will stay fresh for longer than you think. Garlic bulbs will grow a bright green sprout from the top. The cloves are still fine to eat without the shoot, but the flavor could shift slightly.

For those times that you minced more garlic for your meal, you can place the chopped up bits in a sealed container in your fridge. However, the sulfur compound, allicin, that’s extremely beneficial for our health decreases within a few hours if it sits in its chopped-up form, and refrigeration will lessen the time even more. If you want the maximum health benefits from your refrigerated garlic, you should consume it as soon as possible.

Preparing Garlic

It’s a long process to peel garlic sometimes. The best method for avoiding this pesky side of using garlic is simply to soak the garlic for an hour or two in water before you prepare the meal. Soaking it will loosen the peel and allows the casing to fall off more easily. This won’t lower or change the garlic’s benefits.

When Garlic Causes a Stink

Although garlic is beneficial for a majority of people, you can have too much of it. There are the occasional case of allergies to vegetables related to garlic like shallots or leeks. That said, overloads of garlic and similar veggies can cause indigestion. For garlic-heavy meals, take a note from South Asian and Mediterranean chefs and add fennel seeds or fresh parsley. These herbs will counteract bad breath and other side effects.