Easy storage solution for garlic makes it ‘last for six months’

Garlic bulbs may seem hardy in their texture but the delicate cloves are more susceptible to going off than some may think.

In fact, they can quickly turn soft and dry if stored incorrectly – even when kept in a cool, dark cupboard.

When stored in the right conditions, however, garlic is an incredibly low-maintenance ingredient to on hand in the pantry.

According to food experts, the key to extending its longevity is keeping it together.

Speaking to Martha Stewart, Sur La Table chef Richard Temples said: “The bulbs are their own storage container so don’t break them apart until you need to.”

READ MORE: ‘Magic’ storage solution for cheese keeps it fresher than the fridge alone

As long as the juicy cloves remain together there’s very little chance of rapid deterioration. That is, of course, as long as the surrounding environment is right.

Richard claimed: “Baskets, bowls, mesh bags, any kind of containers that will allow some airflow are great,

“You always want to keep your garlic cool and dry-cool, but not cold, and with some airflow.”

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Just like onions and potatoes, garlic bulbs prefer cupboards and shaded countertops to chilled fridges, which are simply too moist for the delicate cloves.

According to Richard, the temperature of a fridge can actually “mimic autumn” to garlic and encourage it to sprout within a couple of weeks. He claimed that while these sprouts are edible, they tend to have an unsavoury “bitter flavour”.

For this reason, cool but not cold dark spots are perfect for fresh garlic as long as it is kept away from potatoes to stop it from interfering with the longevity of earthy spuds.

A kitchen counter will even suffice if it is shielded from direct sunlight and has a consistent temperature.

The chef said: “Most people don’t know that garlic will last four to six months if kept cool and dry!”

Of course, once the garlic cloves start to be removed from the whole bulb, time begins to run out for its shelf life.

After removing the first segment, there is a 10-14 day period before the remaining cloves begin to sprout.

In this instance, it’s even more important to keep the garlic cool and away from humidity to slow down the process.

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