How to Store Garlic – An Important aspect when it comes to Taste, Flavor and Medicinal Value of Garlic
Storage of garlic has to be done in a manner that helps it retain its flavor and nutritive value. How to store garlic depends on the type of garlic you are going to store. Generally it is a commodity that could be stored for a few months without damaging any of its properties or damage from moulds. Whether you buy it in the store or whether you harvest it from your back yard, garlic has to be stored properly until it is being used. Therefore, it is important to know how to store garlic.
One of the best types of garlic to be used for cooking is the young garlic harvested fresh. Many cooks believe that it provides the best flavor.
This young garlic has to be washed and stored in the refrigerator until it is being used. It is good as a substitute for onions and leeks also. Due to its mild flavor, it makes a good additive to many dishes when you need to give mild garlic flavor. However, in order to use this type of garlic you need to know how to store garlic.
The same home grown garlic could be left to be matured and harvested later. Before thinking of how to store garlic you need to treat it after harvesting. The harvested garlic need to be washed before drying. Drying should be done in shade and there should not be a lot of moisture in the air. Bulbs should be intact. Bulbs of garlic keep longer than the cloves of them.
Drying of the harvested bulbs of garlic could go on for a week. For drying, you could spread them on a mat or you could hang them from their stalks. Once dry, you could remove the roots and make the bulbs ready for storage.
How to store garlic is to pack them in bags that allow ventilation. Garlic should never be packed in polythene bags. Instead, you could use mesh bags and paper bags. Polythene bags are not suitable for the storage of garlic as the evaporated moisture will trap inside and will create good environment for mold growth as soon as the packs go in to a dark place. How to store garlic in the kitchen is to leave it in a wire mesh basket and leave it in one of your kitchen cupboards.
Once you peel garlic and use only a portion for your recipe you need to store what is left. How to store garlic when it is in this state is to leave it in the fridge. However, you need to use it as soon as possible as garlic loses some of its sulfur compounds in a few hours when it is left in the fridge. Some people preserve garlic by freezing but this is not a good practice.
It will change the texture of garlic as well as its flavor. With all these facts it is quite obvious that knowing how to store garlic is of immense importance if you want to get its medicinal benefits as well as the taste and flavor.
The Art Of Storing Garlic
If it so happens that the garlic you bought from the local store goes off soon after your initial purchase, it means that such garlic had a short shelf life and you only wasted your precious time and money buying such garlic. In order to take out the proper value for money, you should buy garlic that has enough life left, so that you can use it at home even after a considerable period of time has elapsed. The life of the garlic, in turn, depends upon certain factors. The first one is the species of garlic that is being bought.
There are certain species that are very long lasting, while others wither off a week or so after harvesting. The second factor is its age. Garlic that has recently been harvested has a longer shelf life and less chances of sprouting than that harvested, say, two to three months ago.
Similarly, dormant garlic has more chances of sprouting near to or during the garlic plantation season. Another most important factor is the way in which garlic was handled during harvesting. If its skin was not damaged, then it has more chances to live longer on the shelf, otherwise, it will soon go soft and be worthless. The life of garlic, however, can be increased by properly Storing Garlic.
There is more than one method of Storing Garlic. The answer to the question How To Store Garlic depends upon the needs and requirements of the person in question. For example, certain people prefer to store garlic under edible oil. This is done by peeling the skin off the clove and then storing it under palm oil or olive oil. Such people claim that this method could be used to store garlic for years, for the oil stops the oxidization process and keeps the garlic from going bad.
It also increases the amount of antioxidants in the garlic, thus making it more potent to be used in dishes that are healthy for the body as a whole, and this method also removes the excess acidity from the garlic as well. However, this method can also cause botulism in certain rare cases.
Another method of Storing Garlic is to put it into a garlic keeper. This method is used by those who prefer to use garlic every now and then, but do not wish it to be stored under oil. They put the garlic in a container, which is perforated to allow air into the container, as the garlic bulb needs air, otherwise the bulb will soon start to rot away. Garlic must also be kept away from direct sunlight. This causes the bacteria to grow faster and act upon the garlic so as to rot it.
We have seen How To Store Garlic but will now see how not to store it. Never store garlic directly under oil, especially with the skin on. It is most likely to cause botulism, a rare case of poisoning. Do not put the garlic in a sealed plastic container, otherwise it wont get air and would wither off soon and rot. Garlic should also not be placed in the fridge and not left directly in sunlight, otherwise it will be of no use and finish off earlier than expected.