How are you going to store the fruits of the 2011 Garlic Season?

Now that you’ve stuffed your pockets, buckets, backpacks, purses, suitcases, hats and  baskets with as much organic Vermont Garlic as you possibly can, what are you going to do with it all? Storing garlic makes a huge difference in the liveliness and longevity of your favorite bulb.

Store garlic unpeeled and uncovered in a cool, dark place. Use our breathable terracotta garlic keeper or a wire mesh basket, You can also use a paper bag, egg carton, or mesh bag – just make sure your garlic has plenty of air and is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Don’t be tempted to use the crisper drawer in your fridge – in this case it is a misnomer. The cold will tarnish the flavor and texture of your garlic. For the same reasons, freezing garlic is also not recommended.

Many garlic lovers are tempted to store their garlic in olive oil. After all what better combo is there? But be forewarned! Garlic, being a tuber grown in soil, can contain the bacteria “Clostridium Botulinum.” The olive oil seals off air from the garlic, thus creating a great environment for botulism – an anaerobic bacteria. When infusing olive oil with garlic, use the same precautions you would when canning any vegetable: sterilize first. Most chefs recommend cooking the garlic and olive oil together (at 200 degrees or more) for several minutes before saving it as an infusion. Read more about the safe way to infuse your olive oil with garlic.

Dehydrating garlic is a great way to preserve extra garlic. Use your dehydrator or a 150 degree oven. Grind and sprinkle as necessary to add a bit of garlic to your favorite dishes – note dehydrated garlic is milder and somewhat sweeter than fresh garlic.

Of course the best flavor comes from fresh cloves.

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