Like Fresh Garlic? How to Pick the Best

Fresh garlic brings a bright kick to soups, stir fry and other meals. When you’re in the grocery store, are you drawn to the dice, fresh bulbs or packs of garlic? The best way to get garlic at its freshest is by buying bulbs individually because you can select bulbs with the best qualities. Unyielding bulbs often hold the most zest, while softer bulbs are often weaker and less flavorful. If your dish requests a specific amount of garlic, follow that. Otherwise, mass isn’t as significant for garlic bulbs.

Keep your Garlic Fresh

If you plan on buying raw, whole bulbs of garlic from the grocery store, these can be stored for many months if they are kept in a dark area at room temperature. Storing it in a dark place will suppress any budding from the bulb. It’s essential to know that when you separate the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life lessens. In addition, keeping the bulbs in an open container is ideal, or in a paper bag, egg carton or ventilated bag, but not plastic. Just take into account that there is decent flow of dry air, then your garlic will stay fresh.

Pantries and cabinets are ideal for storing garlic to keep it dry, cool and dark. Garlic shouldn’t be chilled and freezing it will also drain the flavor. Plus, if garlic is put in the fridge or kept in plastic bags, it has an increased chance of molding. In the best conditions, your bulbs can stay flavorful for a while. Occasionally, the garlic will grow a green shoot. These are still fine to eat once you remove the shoot, but may bring out a stronger flavor.

If you’ve minced more garlic for your recipe, you can keep the minced garlic in a sealed container in your refrigerator. However, the active sulfur compound that’s so beneficial for us diminishes within a few hours if it sits in its minced state, and refrigeration will lessen the time even more. When you prefer to get the maximum health benefits from your refrigerated cloves, you should use it as soon as possible.

Preparing the Garlic for Meals

Peeling garlic for cooking can take a long time. The best way to avoid this pesky aspect of cooking with garlic is simply to soak the cloves for an hour or two in water before you prepare the meal. Soaking it will loosen the peel and allows the wrapping to come off more easily. This won’t reduce or change the garlic’s benefits.

When Garlic Causes a Stink

Though many food lovers enjoy garlic all the time, it can be too much of it. Some have reported sensitivities to allium vegetables like onions or chives. That said, overdoing the garlic or onions causes indigestion. For garlic-heavy recipes, learn from South Asian and Mediterranean cuisine and add fennel seeds or fresh parsley. Herbs like these can counteract garlic breath and other side effects.