In today's way of life, information is abundant and at our fingertips, knowing what information is correct can be a challenge.
Garlic Breath Farm wants you to know everything about the benefits and the many uses of garlic. Let us help guide you in helping your family live healthy...one clove at a time.
Question 1: How long does garlic last in storage?
Fresh garlic- This is garlic right out of the ground and into your kitchen. We tell our customers that fresh garlic should be kept in the fridge until use and should be used within a week and a half to two weeks. Store in the fridge in a Ziploc bag with a piece of dry paper towel. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture.
Cured garlic- This is garlic that has been hanging, in the right conditions for three to four weeks, to gently draw out the moistures of fresh garlic. Cured garlic will last up to six months in whole form and in proper storage, depending on purchase date since harvest. Cured garlic is how most garlic is bought in stores.
Garlic scapes- This is the flower and stem part of the garlic plant. Scapes will store for about four weeks in the fridge in a Ziploc baggie with a piece of dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Scapes can also be stored the same way in the freezer to enjoy when scapes are out of season.
Question 2: What is the proper way to store cured garlic?
We tell our customers that cured garlic, in it's whole bulb form, can be stored in a wire basket or bowl on the kitchen counter out of direct light/sunlight. Garlic needs air flow and low humidity to remain moist and not dried out. This becomes challenging during winter months due to the dry conditions indoors. Airflow is most important due to garlic being susceptible to mold/rot.
We have heard the use of clay flower pots (with holes in the bottom) turned upside-down over the garlic on the counter is a really great way to retain moisture and provide venting for airflow. Storing garlic in the pantry, we feel, does not provide proper airflow.
Once a bulb of garlic is opened and cloves removed, the remainder should be used within two weeks.
Avoid storing cloves of garlic in oil at room temperatures as this can create the ingredients for the illness Botulism.
Question 3: How can I get the most garlic flavor in my recipes?
All types of garlic will mild out when cooked. As for Porcelain Music garlic, we recommend to our customers that adding the garlic towards the end of your recipe will ensure the most flavor for this variety. While not in it's raw form, doing this will make for a more bold flavor, while also cooking the garlic slightly.
Porcelain Music is AWESOME raw and it does not have as much heat as other varieties. It can be bold out the gate with it's heat, then the heat falls back quickly leaving great flavor.
For this reason, we LOVE Porcelain Music is salsas, pico de gallo, and any recipe that calls for raw garlic.
Question 4: Can I freeze garlic?
Yes, you can freeze garlic, as whole bulbs, unpeeled cloves, or bare cloves. It is said that when frozen, the garlic becomes less potent and the texture changes.
We know of others that will mince their bare cloves in a food processor (one part garlic, two parts oil) and freeze the garlic in small ice cube trays to have perfectly measured, recipe ready garlic. It is VERY important to not store the oil and garlic mixture at room temperature as this could lead to the illness of Botulism. Again, When mixing garlic in oil, DO NOT STORE AT ROOM TEMPRATURE.
Question 5: What is a garlic scape and can I eat it?
Garlic scapes are the "flowering" part of hardneck garlic. It is the way the garlic plant goes to seed. The scapes are cut to give energy to the bulb, rather than spending most of energy to creating seed.
Not long ago, garlic farmers would cut the scapes and discard them into their compost piles. It is now common to cut these stems and buds, just above the top set of leaves, and eat the scapes in any recipes that would call for onions or garlic. Scapes are more mild in flavor and have an asparagus texture about them. They are amazing chopped up, sautéed in olive oil, and mixed into scrambled eggs. Coat them in olive oil and cook right on the grill. Add salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese, and you're in for a tasty side to your steak, chops, even salmon!!
Question 6: What is Porcelain Music?
Porcelain Music is a hard neck garlic and is the most popular of the varieties. It originates from Italy and was developed by a tobacco farmer named Al Music in the 1980's. Al switched from growing tobacco, to growing garlic in Canada.
Question 7: Can I plant garlic from the bulb I have?
Absolutely...as long as you plant in October and harvest in July. Oh, and be sure to cut those garlic scapes off once they make a full curl or your garlic bulbs will be puny!
Prior to planting, we recommend soaking the separated cloves three hours to overnight in a solution of 1 tbsp. baking soda, per gallon of water. This preps the cloves prior to planting. Planting season in the Midwest is in the late summer to early fall.
Feel free to send us an email if you would like planting instructions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question 8: Is garlic ok to eat if I am on medications?
Garlic is great to eat, in moderation, while on medications. It is said that garlic can help lower blood pressure, ward off flu sickness and sore throats, act as a natural antibiotic, and studies are now showing that garlic may be a cancer preventative.
Caution should be used, however, with liberal consumption from people on "anticoagulants" like Warfarin, as garlic is known to thin the blood. Garlic with blood thinners create a higher risk of bleeding. It is recommended to stop eating garlic a week prior to any surgical procedure.
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