The ideal conditions for storing garlic are a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. After picking garlic is often stored and dried hanging from a ceiling.
Unfortunately most kitchens are warm, frequently humid and often sunny. This reduces the time that garlic will last before sprouting or otherwise going off. Putting garlic in the fridge is worse than useless and can cause it to go soft and mouldy quickly.
For this reason, many people like to buy a special garlic keeper in which to store the whole bulbs and unused cloves.
What Is A Garlic Keeper?
A garlic keeper is a small garlic pot which is designed to stay cool and which has holes to allow air to circulate.
Garlic keepers are made from various materials. Some of those you can buy are ceramic, other materials often used include terracotta and, for a touch of real class, even marble. Depending on the brand, the design will vary from purely functional to highly decorative.
Using a good garlic keeper will maximise the storage life of your garlic, especially if you start by buying high quality garlic in the first place. The bulbs should be firm with plenty of dry papery covering and no sprouting.
Of course, if your cooking’s anything like mine your garlic won’t need to last very long!