How to Select and Store Garlic

You can buy garlic flakes, powder, or paste, but if you truly want to experience this herb’s flavor and nutritional benefits, fresh garlic is your top pick – and it’s available in the market all year round. Look for bulbs that are plump and have unbroken skin, and are not soft, shriveled, moldy, or have begun to sprout. Any sign of decay can greatly affect the herb’s flavor and texture.

Another test of quality: gently squeeze the bulb between your fingers. If it feels firm, and not damp, then you’re choosing good-quality garlic.

Fresh garlic is best stored either in an uncovered or loosely covered container, and kept in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight. This helps prevent it from sprouting. No need to refrigerate garlic. Some people freeze peeled garlic, but be warned that this will reduce its flavor profile and cause its texture to deteriorate.

As long as they’re stored properly, whole garlic bulbs stay fresh for a month. The trick is to inspect the bulbs frequently, and remove any cloves that are dried out or moldy. Remember that breaking the head of the garlic also reduces the shelf life to just a few days.

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