Useful Tips For Storing Garlic
Anyone wishing to keep fresh garlic on hand will need to know about storing garlic. Garlic is commonly known to scientists as Allium sativum and falls into the same family (Amaryllidaceae) as shallots and onions. Almost all of the garlic that is grown within this country comes from the state of California. The garlic is used in a variety of different forms (cloves, powder, etc.) in order to add flavoring to favorite foods and recipes. Many people use garlic in bread or on Italian dishes; however, it proves to be great in a wide variety of recipes. Throughout this article we will examine all you need to know about garlic, including storing it safely.
One thing you need to know about garlic is that the common flavor associated with the food is produced when the cells of garlic are completely broken. Therefore, immediately after chopping garlic it becomes more pungent. However, if you roast garlic it is very sweet because the chemical reaction can only occur when the garlic is uncooked. This is one interesting fact that most are unaware of when it comes to one of their favorite items to add flavor.
When choosing a head of garlic it is recommended that you get ones that are firm. Be sure to avoid heads that are soft or contain scratches. Furthermore, any head that contains dark patches under the skin is likely to be mold, and not dirt. Therefore, avoid garlic heads with those characteristics at all costs.
Once you have bought the garlic it is essential to look into storing garlic. One of the most important things to note is that garlic should not be stored too close to other foods or vegetables. They should, however, be stored in a place that is cool and dry. Make sure the heads are not placed within direct sunlight. There are actually garlic keepers that are designed to assist with storing garlic. This tool allows air in and provides a great deal of circulation. In the end, these garlic heads can be kept for months if stored properly.
In discussing proper methods for storing garlic, it is essential to examine the ways that you should never store garlic for best results and for your health. It is not recommended that you freeze or even refrigerate garlic heads; this method will lead to soft garlic that is more prone to mold. These same results occur if you store the garlic in sealed containers. Furthermore, be sure to avoid storing garlic heads in oil. Believe or not, doing so can be extremely serious and lead to botulism or death.
Aside from fresh garlic, you can also buy garlic that is already in cloves or minced. These are already stored in oil, but rest assured it was done in a manner that is not hazardous to your health as long as you refrigerate the garlic. However, to completely reduce the risk of health conditions associated with storing the garlic in oil, it is highly recommended that you use fresh garlic and store it properly.
In conclusion, it is essential to make sure you store your garlic properly in order to help maintain its shelf life. Never store fresh garlic in oil or you could be literally risking your health or even your life. Instead, store the garlic in a cool, but dry area away from other foods that does not have access to direct sunlight. You can easily do so by purchasing a garlic keeper that is specifically designed to help keep your fresh garlic as fresh as possible. Now you can go purchase fresh garlic and be prepared to keep it for months by using these methods described above.