Keep garlic cloves fresh and flavorful for longer with these 5 tricks:
Keep garlic in a cool, dry place
Your best bet is to leave the garlic heads in a cool dry place or in the fridge and use as needed. If using the refrigerator, store them in a zip plastic bag and put in the crisper to avoid unwanted smells.
Avoid direct sunlight
Direct sun accelerates the spoiling of garlic and heat helps the awful smell develop. Toss whole unpeeled heads of garlic in a wire basket hanging in a corner of your kitchen or pantry, out of direct sunlight, and they will keep really well. This is the way our ancestors use to store garlic! Sometimes at farmers markets you can find whole braids of garlic that you can hang right away.
Favor good air circulation
Keep garlic cloves in unpeeled head form in a well ventilated terra cotta garlic cellar at room temperature is ideal for wicking away moisture and keeping it away from your garlic bulbs. Storing garlic in a basket in a dry, dark area with plenty of air circulation is ideal.
Plant the sprouting cloves!
No need to throw them away! Use the unsprouted cloves for cooking and plant the sprouting ones in a large container in your backyard, next to your herbs garden. You’ll get some of your best garlic this way!
Buy a whole bunch of garlic, peel the cloves, put them in a ziplok bag, and toss the bag in the freezer. When you need a clove or two, just take them out and use them. Thawed garlic is mushier than fresh, but it still tastes fine and is easy to use in a lot of different applications — soups, stews, spreads, dips…
Photography by Veronica Brandy.