Garlic is a widely used flavoring agent in food. But does garlic go bad? Yes. Like any other herb, it has the tendency to go bad. This NutriNeat write-up will tell you how to determine spoiled garlic, so that you can refrain from consuming it.
Not long ago, in the 1970s, people in Romania used garlic to spot vampires. The Church used to distribute garlic during services, and people who refused to eat were considered ‘vampires’.
Garlic is an edible herb which belongs to the family of onions. It is popularly used as a flavoring ingredient in various dishes, though used in small quantities owing to its sharp flavor. It not only adds distinct flavor to the food, but also provides medicinal benefits to the body. However, to reap the benefits of garlic, one must ensure that the used cloves are in good condition. Although garlic lasts longer than most other herbs, it may go bad before its shelf life. And this will happen only if it is not stored properly. Bad garlic, if used, may not be good for the stomach. So how to identify bad garlic? In the sections to follow, we will discuss how to tell if garlic has gone bad, and some tips to preserve this useful ingredient.
Signs of Bad Garlic
☞ The appearance of brown spots or any change in color of the garlic (peeled or unpeeled) indicates that it is unfit for consumption.
☞ Sprouting at the tip of the cloves marks the beginning of the decaying process for garlic. However, if the sprouts are trimmed, the garlic is good to use.
☞ Mushy, soft, or brittle cloves of garlic should not be used at all, since ‘good’ cloves are firm to touch.
☞ Bad smell emanating from the garlic is a good indication that you shouldn’t be using it.
☞ The shelf life of the cloves decreases once they are separated from the bulb. They may last for about 1 – 2 months.
☞ Fresh chopped/minced garlic, when stored in a sealed container inside the refrigerator, may last for about 1 week.
☞ Pickled or chopped garlic in olive oil/vinegar, stored in an air-tight container, may last for about 2 – 3 months, if kept in the refrigerator.
Tips for Preservation
☞ Keep them away from direct sunlight.
☞ Do not store garlic (unpeeled) in closed containers/plastic bags. This is because, lack of air circulation will build up moisture within the container/bag, and cause the garlic to decay.
☞ Store peeled/chopped garlic cloves in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Adding little olive oil to chopped garlic will increase its shelf life.
☞ Do not freeze garlic, as freezing changes its taste and color. However, you can make garlic butter and freeze it.
Now you will know if the garlic that you have is good to use or not, and thus avoid any undesired effects on your health. Use these tips for storage, and enjoy this super ingredient in various dishes.