Garlic when fresh is at its best. The flavor of fresh garlic is very different when compared with older garlic. This is why fresh garlic is preferred when cooking meals like pasta, Bruschetta, garlic-roasted chicken or any other dish that needs to be flavored by garlic. But how long does garlic last? One must know the answer to this question in order to cook good garlic in meals.
When garlic is freshly picked, it can last for as long as 6 months, some even 10, if stored under the right conditions. Garlic bought from the grocery and was stored in a cool and dry place can be expected to remain fresh for up to 2 weeks, depending too on the climate and the time of year.
Storing garlic under the right conditions is a factor for the length by which garlic may last. A cool and dry area must be the place where garlic is stored because humidity causes the garlic bulbs and cloves to deteriorate. When garlic is already placed on the shelves of supermarkets or other grocery stores, the condition of the garlic will quickly deteriorate. When the storage condition seems good enough, the state of the garlic cloves must be checked next.
To make sure that the garlic is still fresh and good to cook, the outer skin must remain white without any gray areas at its base. When peeled, the clove of garlic should be smooth without any brownish marks or indentations. The garlic must also be firm to the touch with many layers of its skin in tact. It must not have visible sprouts for they are a sign of the ripeness of garlic.
When garlic bulbs are bought, remember to keep them stored at room temperature. 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius, can store garlic bulbs for only a little while. Breaking the bulb at this temperature calls for an immediate usage of the garlic. The best temperature for storing garlic is in between 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.78 degrees Celsius) and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33 degrees Celsius). When the temperature goes any higher than this, the garlic will most probably not last for as long as it is expected to be.
The length of time that garlic can last also depends mainly on the type of garlic. There is a certain type of immature garlic that only lasts for about a week. This type is also often referred to as the “new season” garlic. This, however, is not the case for most types of garlic. Most types can be stored for a much longer time. Rocamboles are a type of garlic that can typically be stored for 5 to 6 months, given that the conditions above are followed. Silverskins is another type of garlic that may last for as long as 8 to 10 months if also under the right conditions. Basically, garlic may last from as short as 1 week to as long as 10 months. But this length of time depends on the garlic’s storage conditions, the temperature and type of garlic.