The largest variety of garlic -- elephant garlic -- is more closely related to the leek than it is to true garlic. But it resembles true garlic, with multiple cloves attached to a large bulb. Its flavour also is mild when compared to other garlic varieties. Elephant garlic has a long storage life when properly prepared and stored. If you grow elephant garlic in your garden, it also requires some post-harvest preparation before storage.
Spread harvested garlic out in a single layer on top of a sheet of newspaper in a well-ventilated, dark room. Dry the garlic in this manner until the skin becomes dry and papery, which usually take two to three weeks.
Cut the stalk off each garlic bulb, leaving no more than 1 inch attached to each bulb. Avoid cutting too closely to the bulb, as this can reveal the bare cloves and speed spoilage.
Place the elephant garlic in a mesh bag. Use the type of bags used for onion storage, as these allow air to circulate freely around the elephant garlic bulbs.
Hang the bag in a cool, dark and well-ventilated room. A dry place with a temperature of 1.67 to 15.6 degrees Celsius is preferable; just ensure the temperature never drops below freezing.
- Elephant garlic stores for three to five months when kept at the proper temperature.
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