Storing Fresh Cured Garlic:
There are trials underway across the globe in search of the best way to store garlic fresh. EDN Farms is a participating member of these novel techniques and look forward to reporting the results of the trials. Some of the trials have concluded and we have indeed changed our recommendations of storing your fresh garlic. Buy your garlic from EDN Farms for your entire year if you can; it always sells out! Store your garlic short term (2-4 months) un-bunched in a ventilated container or a mesh bag in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place in ambient temperatures of 68-86 degrees with a low relative humidity (<75%). However, due to moisture loss cloves will eventually shrivel. As you get time, set aside what you intend to use within a few months or so. Store them as mentioned before. You can also store your garlic in an open paper bag placed in your refrigerator crisper drawer, if refrigerator is set at 39 degrees or lower. Using some kind of an accurate temperature/hygrometer sensor, adjust you crisper vent so humidity remains around the 75% range. Then prepare the rest of your year’s worth of garlic for freezing. Doing this ensures that you will have enough to last the rest of the year. For longer term storage, lower the temperature (-1 to 4ºC or 30-39ºF, although some studies recommend storage at even colder temperatures, down to -4ºC) with low relative humidity (60- 70%) and good airflow will ensure months of high quality garlic. Higher humidity can encourage both mold growth and root growth, lower humidity will result in the bulbs drying out. Stored bulbs will continue to transpire, so adequate ventilation is needed throughout the storage period to avoid storage losses. Garlic cloves break dormancy most rapidly between 4-10ºC (40-50ºF), so to prevent premature sprouting, avoid prolonged storage at this temperature. Once removed, the cloves will want to soon start sprouting thinking its spring.
Methods of Freezing Garlic For Storage
Freezing your fresh garlic is the surest way to store garlic long term. However, freezing expands the water within the cells and cell structure is disrupted. Therefore, the garlic should be used as soon as possible after being removed from freezing. Preparing garlic for freezing can be done in a number of ways, but the Biggest Tip is to freeze soon after curing is complete. Do not wait until bulb begin to shrivel to decide to freeze. (About half of our family's supply of eating garlic is stored for fresh use and the other half is frozen or dried for longer storage.)
- Just Freeze - (The easiest) Place garlic bulbs or cloves (peeled or unpeeled) in a freezer bag or container and freeze; remove cloves or bulbs as needed. We prefer to peel and grate on a micro-planer immediately, once removed from freezing.
- Garlic Log - Chop your already peeled garlic and then wrap tightly into a log shape in plastic wrap and freeze. To use, slice, grate or break off the amount needed.
- Garlic Brickle – Finely mince or puree your already peeled garlic and pour into a freezer bag while gently smoothing it out to form a sheet about 1/8 inch thick before sealing the freeze bag. Place on a flat surface in a freezer or deep freezer. If stored in a normal freezer, the sheet will remain a bit pliable and portions for use will be pulled or cut off with a knife. If stored in a deep freezer, the sheet will become rigid and desired portions can simply be snapped off into shards.
- Garlic Sorbet – (One of our favorites.) Puree your already peeled cloves with oil in a blender or food processor using 1.5 to 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic and pack into the mixture into an airtight container. (The Garlic Sorbet will stay soft enough in the freezer to scoop out the desired amount for sauteing or baking.) Freeze this mixture immediately and never hold or store at room temperature. Garlic is a low-acid vegetable. As with all low-acid vegetables; when combined with oil must be used straight-away, or kept in a refrigerator for NO more than 72 hours, or kept frozen until time of use. If this warning is disregarded, there is a danger of growing Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium responsible for Botulism.
EDN Farms supplies fresh, American-grown garlic to restaurants, kitchens, foodies & gardeners all over the country. Contact us to learn about wholesale pricing and bulk orders.
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