Monday, August 13, 2012

THE CALIFORNIA GARLIC HARVEST IS IN and the Gilroy Garlic Festival is over!
In spite of the late harvest, it appears to be a good one. 
But, for those of you growing your own or buying our fresh garlic, some helpful and healthful tips:
 Harvesting garlic: If you grow your own, it's important to let it "mature" after harvesting. This is done by spreading the bulbs on racks and out of the direct sun in a well ventilated place for about two weeks. When the skins are dry and papery the bulbs can be cleaned by removing the outermost layers of their papery skins.  The garlic should then be stored in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. Garlics' usable "life" when stored properly is from 3 to 6 months. At Garlic Festival Foods, we do not ship fresh garlic after January. Garlic purchased in the super market after that time has been in cold storage (so has a short usability) or is imported. We do not sell Chinese or other imported garlic.

Roasting Garlic:  Roasted garlic has become very popular for its' sweet and delicious flavor. It can be used on crackers or as an ingredient in many dishes such as sauces, mashed potatoes and to spread on meat and poultry. Recipe: Cut off the tip of the whole head exposing the cloves.  Place the head or heads in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and a little dried or fresh thyme. Pour in 1/4 C water or white wine, cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast at 350º for 45 mins. to an hour. Uncover for the last 5-10 mins.  Let cool a little and squeeze cloves out of their skins. 

Storing garlic in oil.
Extreme care must be taken when storing garlic in oil. Peeled cloves may be put in oil and stored in the freezer for months.
Fresh or roasted garlic should never be stored in oil at room temperature. This has been associated with at least 3 cases of botulism in the USA in recent years.  Never eat garlic in olive oil in restaurants stored on the table.  You can make your own garlic flavored oil by gently heating fresh garlic in olive oil but it should be used immediately.
Have your garlic and eat it too! When fresh garlic is not in season, try our Organic Roasted Garlic. It is great for cooking, making bread dippers and seasoning garlic oil, Safely!


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