How Do You Know If Garlic Is Bad?

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If you know Rachael, you know she loves garlic. She even jokes that she smells like garlic the majority of the time. So, it should come as no surprise that she's very particular about how she buys and stores garlic to keep it fresh. 

But how do you know if garlic isn't fresh anymore? 

Q: Can you eat garlic if it's green inside? – Wendy, viewer

"That means it's not at its prime," Rachael answers. "Don't use garlic once it's dimpled, sprouting and dried out — it'll be more bitter."

So, how does Rachael buy and store garlic so that it's always at its prime when she needs it for a dish?

What kind of garlic does Rachael buy?
"I like to buy garlic that's extremely firm and heavy. Hardneck garlic or purple skin garlic will be milder in taste," Rach says. "Rocambole is my favorite garlic. It's from Calabrian garlic seed and I buy it at Union Square every year." 

How does Rachael store garlic
"Basically, I keep garlic that's still in its jackets in jars, covered," Rach explains. "And the garlic I'm going to peel the next day, I keep a few in the basket behind me in the kitchen. You should keep it cool and dark. I peel up a couple bulbs at a time, keep them in the fridge in a really tiny container, that I can use in just a couple of days. When you buy garlic in large containers at the grocery store or any place else, in bags or buckets, they have to use a preservative of some sort."

So instead, Rach buys bulbs and cracks just as much as she needs at any given time.

"I just crack enough garlic to fill a quarter-pound, teeny tiny, 4-ounce container every couple of days," she explains. "Otherwise, keep it cool and dry and only buy garlic when the skins are very tight and the garlic bulbs are still heavy in weight."

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