So, after my bad experience last week, with my garlic sprouting and everything, here are some of the comments Garlicster readers sent with ideas and suggestions:
garlic should be stored in a paper bag.
Well I don't really know about garlic in specific, but I do know about onions. You keep onions in a brown paper bag in the low humidity side of your crisper and they stay firm and do not sprout for a really long time. I use my onions within a month, so I don't know how much longer than that that they would keep. Perhaps garlic is similar? I just buy new garlic whenever mine gets soft or sprouts and never thought about trying to keep it in the frig cause I heard it was a no-no like you did. I am going to try the brown paper bag thing now that you've got me thinking about it!
If your garlic sprouted that quickly, then it was ready to sprout. I worked in the Caribbean and bought garlic by the case. Sometimes it would all sprout in a couple of weeks, other times I could keep it for months. The only advice that I can give you is to buy high quality bulbs, keep them cool and in the dark, and don't use any sprouts. I'm sure that a garlic farmer could give you much better advice.
Patrick sent this email:
I have tried various ways of keeping garlic and I still feel the best way is to store it in the fridge where it stays dark and cool. I keep it in one of the veg. draws with my onions(which I keep in a plastic bag) and this seems to keep the garlic fresh and it lasts the longest. Like you I have kept my garlic stored in the dark , but in a a cabinet and it too, started to blossum. I think the cool temp. is what helps keep it fresh the longest. Hope we hear about other ideas!
I have seen small ceramic crocks that were sold as storage for garlic, claiming to keep it fresh longer. When I buy garlic it is alot like buying bananas. The state that the garlic is in at the time of purchase will tell me alot about how long it has till it is compromised. I try to find it in the best posssible state and then use it up as soon as possible.
Annie left this comment:
I keep fresh garlic flavorful by peeling the buds clean, then packing the cloves tightly in a small jar, then cover with olive oil...they stay firm. I keep them in the fridge, although have been meaning to try storing it in the pantry to see just how long it will keep.
I keep my garlic in a ceramic crock on the kitchen counter so it's always nearby. I can purchase 4-5 head and still come to the end of 3 weeks without it being compromised. Garlic needs to be in a dry, dark environment for best storage, but you should carefully choose only the best at the store to prolong your garlic's "shelf life."
Eric also said:
Not unlike the other garlic aficionados, we keep our garlic in a little ceramic crock with dime-sized holes all over its circumference. Whenever we maked chili, spaghetti or any other dish that we feel could use some, it's right there.
So what I think is the most popular method, is to keep the garlic in a sort of "cookie jar" ceramic container, screw the cap tightly and not let any light see the garlic. Also I guess that garlic I got last week was about to sprout anyway, I put that in the fridge, but next time I'll know what to do.
Thanks everyone for the great ideas!