The most commonly cultivated and eaten form of garlic is "allium sativum" with 2 sub-varieties called softneck garlic and hardneck garlic. The hardneck garlic tends to be more colorful and have fewer but larger cloves per bulb than the softnecks. Softnecks generally have about twice as many cloves per bulb as the hardnecks. The Silverskin (a softneck variety) tends to be the longest storing garlic with Porcelain (a hardneck variety) the second-longest storing. The Asiatic garlic (hardneck variety) tends to be the shortest storing kind with Rocambole (another hardneck) coming next.
Keep garlic in a dry, cool location and away from light to prolong shelf life; pack garlic in something other than plastic to maintain reduced humidity levels, such as in a mesh or brown paper bag. Garlic will hold its flavor and quality for 4 to 6 months. This is a good item to store in the pantry or other cooler room.
An individual unpeeled clove will keep up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Tightly wrap in plastic, a peeled clove will hold its flavor in the refrigerator for only 1 or 2 days.
Garlic from the garden: with the leaves still attached to the garlic bulb, allow them to dry in clumps in the full sun for a few days. When dried, trim off the leaves about 1 inch above the bulb. Put your dried garlic in paper bags and store in a cool, dark, dry area; these will last many months.
Garlic is a member of the lily family, and is a relative of onions, leeks, chives and shallots. The edible bulb or head is made up of numerous cloves each in a closely fitting papery skin. The garlic head grows beneath the ground and is also encased in a papery covering.
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