Have you ever wonder does garlic goes bad if left unused for too long? How long is the shelf life of garlic? And, how to store garlic correctly so that this herb remain fresh for future use?
Frankly speaking, it never crosses my mind to think that garlic can get rotten because I never got the chance to see it happen even once since all the fresh garlic that I bought from the market will be swiftly used within a week.
Today I am going to blog about garlic shelf life, how to store garlic correctly as well as general knowledge about this wonderful herb.
Is Garlic a Spice or Herb?
Often confused for being a spice, garlic is actually a herb species in the onion genus Allium and is closely related to onions, shallots, leeks, and chives.
Known for its pungent, spicy, and to some extent nutty flavor, garlic certainly deserves its place amongst the world's most widely-used aromatics.
Quite surprising for a herb with a relatively strong heated taste, garlic on its own, or used in conjunction with other herbs and spices, pair perfectly with almost any recipe’s main component be it meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable.
The garlic versatile flavor profile, which may also be mellowed with proper technique, makes it a staple ingredient in various cuisines around the world. Soups, stews, roasts, stir-fries, curries, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and a whole long list of internationally-renowned dishes just wouldn't be authentic without the characteristic flavor that only garlic can give.
On top of the irreplaceable flavor that the garlic has, the proven myriad of health benefits from cooking with garlic account for its presence in most kitchens. Though relatively easy to cultivate, and thus readily available, it does lose its state of freshness and potency over time. Hence the need for knowledge on how to store garlic to maximize its shelf-life.
Garlic Shelf Life
Does garlic go bad? Yes, it does, just like most fresh produce does. If stored properly, though, fresh, raw garlic left whole in their bulbs can last for 3 – 6 months if stored properly. But preferably not to keep for so long, though.
Chopped garlic on the other hand, if refrigerated may be good to use for up to seven days. Sprouting of green roots from the garlic clove, or the visibility of brown spots, clearly indicate that it is no longer safe for consumption.
Also, do not assume all garlic you see at the market is fresh. Some of the garlic, especially those at the bottom of the basket can be left there for a long time already. Just be alert when buying from the vendor.
With equal importance to knowing how to store garlic properly would be knowing what to look for when in the market for this herb. So let’s start this discussion with these simple pointers:
To put it simply, before thinking too much about how to store garlic optimally, it would still be best to begin by sourcing for only the freshest garlic that is still intact in its bulb whenever available.
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How to Store Garlic – Whole Bulbs
Bulbs of garlic left intact have a shelf-life of up to three months if purchased fresh. Breaking the cloves apart will significantly shorten this storage period down to several days.
A rule-of-thumb on how to store garlic, for whole bulbs or skin-on cloves at least, is to keep them at room temperature, in dry but well-ventilated areas, and away from direct exposure to sunlight.
Opposite to these would be conditions that are favorable for bacterial growth that would hasten spoilage. Here are some storage guidelines based on these facts:
Bulbs of garlic may be roasted whole softening them to a fully-cooked paste that can last up to a week refrigerated. To do this, just arrange as many bulbs of garlic in a pan and bake them for about 40 minutes in an 365 Fahrenheit (180 Degree Celsius) oven.
After that. you should be easily able to squeeze the flesh from their skins when done.
7 Storing Methods for Peeled Garlic Cloves
Individual cloves of garlic that have been peeled should never be left at room temperature. Especially for peeled garlic, it can get spoiled even more quickly. But here are a few solutions to delay this from happening:
Honestly, I grew up in a household where literally garlic is the core ingredients for cooking most of the dishes, and our weekly stocks for this herb were consumed before they can even start going bad.
Because of this, storing garlic was never really a question that bothered me for once. But having an understanding of garlic shelf life and how to store garlic correctly in the context of food safety would surely be worth knowing.
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I've been the cooking for my family since 2009, and my passion for cooking grew stronger each day. Whenever I have time, I love to blog about my culinary experiences and how my kitchen has trained me to become a better chef for my family and friends.