We welcome you to garliccare, here we try to answers all you question about garlic and how to grow garlic, plant garlic, and garlic recipes. But this article or guide will answer a question “How to pick garlic at the grocery store”?
HOW TO PICK GARLIC AT THE GROCERY STORE
You have look for good, large, fat cloves beneath the skin on the bulb’s exterior. On the interior, there are frequently smaller/smaller ones. I preserve the really tiniest ones, which, as you know, are both a pain and a waste of time to peel, and toss them into the next pot of stock.
Although supermarkets often stock only one or two basic varieties of garlic, hundreds of strains exist, some of which you may encounter at a farmers’ market or garlic farm near you.
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They vary in strength and subtlety, but all are delightfully fragrant.
How garlic is grown, how to find a good bulb at the market, and how to keep it fresh once you get it home are all explained here.
HARDNECK AND SOFTNECK
Farmers grow two varieties of garlic: hardneck and softneck.
Hardneck garlic thrives in colder climates. Bulbs (also known as heads) often contain six to eight uniform cloves growing around a hard central shaft, and their size is more consistent than that of many softneck strains’ cloves.
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Three distinct varieties of hardneck exist: Rocambole (roh-cam-BOH-lee) garlic has a tan or white outer skin with varying degrees of purple streaking; porcelain garlic has a white outer skin with little or no purple colouring; and purplestriped garlic.
Hardneck garlic cloves have a brownish skin with various degrees of purple pigmentation depending on the cultivar. The skins are substantial and easily peeled.
Hardneck garlic grows until the ground freezes, at which point it rests until the weather warms up again.
Garlic scapes develop from the hardneck garlic plant. Scapes arrive in early June. Garlic scapes have a milder flavor than garlic cloves and are great when used in the same way as garlic cloves.
If you enjoy a strong garlic flavor, Spanish Roja, also known as a Rocambole, is for you. Additionally, it has a high concentration of allicin, a chemical found in garlic that is considered to stimulate the immune system.
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Marino, a Rocambole, is gentler and somewhat sweeter than Spanish Roja. I believe it pairs particularly well with basil; Marino is an excellent pesto garlic.
Prussian White music is a ceramic garlic. It pairs well with fish and fowl because it is slightly sweeter than other porcelains.
Year-round cultivation of softneck garlic is possible in moderate winter climates such as southern California, Florida, and the southeastern United States, as well as Israel, Italy, and portions of Asia. Cloves form clusters, with between 12 and 24 cloves per bulb.
Softnecks come in two varieties: artichoke and silverskin. Cloves are oddly formed in many varieties of softneck.
The bulbs have a thin, pale skin, but the skin of the cloves varies in color from rusty red to pale brown. As with hardneck garlic, the flavor of softneck garlic varies considerably.
Inchelium Red Artichoke is a cultivar with a softneck. It is milder than silverskin garlic and is excellent in salads and other meals that call for raw garlic. Another softneck type, Nootka Rose Silverskin, contains little, overlapping cloves.
Nootka Rose is quite flavorful. Its tiny cloves are excellent for stir-fries and roasting.
GARLIC IS A TENACIOUS PLANT.
A garlic plant can flourish in almost any environment, with the exception of extremely harsh conditions. I’ve dropped garlic cloves in my backyard and the next year discovered good garlic growing there.
Hardneck garlic is typically planted in late September or October in harsher conditions where it thrives. Planting and harvesting are practically year-round in places with moderate winters, which is where softneck thrives.
A single garlic clove produces a bulb. Cloves are planted around three inches deep, with the root end buried in the dirt.
When garlic growers plant, they save the healthiest, best cloves—those without mutations—for the following year’s crop.
GARLIC REQUIRES CURING.
After harvest, garlic is hung to cure for three to five weeks in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location before being sold. Curing the bulb dries it out and enhances the flavor.
As a garlic bulb cures and grows, the papery skin of the cloves darkens. At our farm, we hang the entire plant bulb side down to allow the liquids from the stem to reach the bulb and impart the best flavor.
(While many farmers remove the tops and lay the garlic on screens, I believe this results in a loss of flavor, and I believe our practice is why our garlic tastes so delicious.)
The garlic is cured when the initial skin may be removed by sliding your thumb over the bulb.
Look for garlic with a really firm head at the market. Avoid dried-out bulbs, as well as those with soft patches or mold. Green shoots within a bulb indicate internal growth within the clove; this is a symptom of ancient garlic.
And, as with other products, bigger is not always better. Varieties vary in size, and many people prefer the flavor of a smaller bulb of garlic over a larger one.
Garlic should be stored in a cold, dry area. A vented ceramic jar or garlic keeper is ideal for a few heads. If you purchase a significant quantity of garlic, store it in a mesh sack in your basement or garage—as long as the area remains cold and dry.
Never store garlic in a plastic bag and keep it out of the refrigerator unless you have a drawer with a low-humidity setting.
Elephant garlic is actually a member of the leek family, not a garlic. It has a mild flavor with a hint of onion and is finest when roasted. It also makes an excellent soup.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Hardneck garlic cloves have a brownish skin with various degrees of purple pigmentation. Porcelain garlic has a white outer skin with little or no purple colouring.
Spanish Roja, also known as a Rocambole, is for you. Year-round cultivation of softneck garlic is possible in moderate winter climates. Cloves form clusters, with between 12 and 24 cloves per bulb.
Planting and harvesting are practically year-round in parts of the U.S., Israel, Italy, and portions of Asia.
As a garlic bulb cures and grows, the papery skin of the cloves darkens. Curing the bulb dries it out and enhances the flavor.
Garlic should be stored in a cold, dry area; a vented ceramic jar is ideal for a few heads.