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Keeping Garlic Available

Updated on October 2, 2013
I enjoy painting garlic almost as much as eating it.
I enjoy painting garlic almost as much as eating it.

Garlic is a common ingredient in recipes, but not many people keep garlic in their kitchens at all times. The trick is to choose the freshest garlic available and store the fresh garlic correctly to get the longest shelf-life. It can be helpful to know the substitutes for fresh garlic and how to use them when necessary. With the many forms of garlic, how can any kitchen be without it?

I'm sure most cooks would prefer to use fresh garlic as opposed to garlic salt or garlic powder. If you're like me, you've had times that you brought out your garlic to use and found it somehow compromised. When stored at room temperature for too long, garlic can develop black spots which is indicative of a black mold. It's not uncommon for garlic in the grocery store to already be showing signs of this mold which will cause the garlic to rot. So, the first step is to choose garlic that is free of black spots and it firm to the touch.

In the home, garlic should be stored in a cool place. The area for garlic to be stored should not be damp as the dampness can encourage mold growth. Therefore, the basement is not usually a good choice. The refrigerator or freezer are not good choices either. The garlic can be stored, unpeeled, in an open box or open plastic container.

Even though garlic may keep fresh for a few months when properly stored, garlic substitutes are available if keeping fresh garlic is not desirable. Fresh garlic is generally preferable for certain meals like garlic shrimp or garlic pasta, but garlic salt and garlic powder can be used for a quick and easy garlic flavor.

What's the difference between garlic salt and garlic powder? Garlic powder is dehydrated garlic that is ground into a powder. Garlic salt is a combination of garlic powder and salt. Obviously, since garlic salt contains salt, it has a saltier taste than garlic powder. You would only use garlic salt when you want both salt and garlic tastes. While neither of these possess the exact same flavor as fresh garlic, they still can give that garlic kick to tuna salad, baked potatoes, steak, and other foods.

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    • Sheila Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Wilson 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you. It's a cropped portion of a still life I did with wine, avocados, tomatoes, and the garlic.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      8 years ago from California Gold Country

      I usually have fresh garlic on hand. Living in a dry climate, I have never had the mold problem, but old garlic does tend to dry up.. or it starts to sprout.

      I like your painting, too.

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