Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drying Garlic

When we purchase garlic and onions in the supermarket, we are buying them in their dried form. This is not how they come out of the ground when harvested. Rather, just-pulled garlic and onions have a constitution similar to scallions.

The garlic and onions found in stores are first air-dried for several weeks, giving them a much longer shelf life than they would have had if left in their original state. (Again, think scallions.)

In addition, the long stems and roots are cut to facilitate shipping and storage. The photo above shows the garlic I recently pulled from the ground drying. Notice the long stalks (about three feet).

By the way, store garlic and onions in a cool dark place, not in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures negatively affect flavor and texture. (The same storage rule holds true for potatoes and tomatoes.)

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