The Juice - Garlic

Garlic: Overview, How to Pick Garlic, and Garlic Germ

Garlic is one of those vegetables/herbs that you either love or hate. Once you have physical contact with garlic, the potent and pungent aroma sticks with you. Garlic breath is one of the main concerns for garlic haters. As reported by the study in the Journal of Food Science, the effect can linger for up to twenty-four hours. The thought of lingering garlicky aroma for the whole day is a bit concerning, but do not be afraid. The same research proclaimed that eating apples, lettuce or peppermint will notably help with the garlic breath. Hence, prepare the above items before you start gobbling down the garlic. Now that you smell better and for those who love garlic, The Juice offers advice on how to pick the perfect bulb of garlic.


What is garlic?

Garlic skin and garlic clove

Garlic is an allium widely cultivated for its pungent compound bulbs. Garlic can generally be distinguished by its papery husk that is usually removed before consumption. White garlic and purple garlic are the most common garlic varieties. Purvey'd carry fresh purple garlic with bulbs of uniform cloves growing around a hard center shaft. This variety is labeled as hard neck garlic. Purple garlic can be identified by their white skin with various amounts of purple streaking. 

On the other hand, white garlic is more common in most supermarkets in the US. White garlic is soft neck garlic that does not have a stalk growing through the center of the bulb. As the name soft neck indicated, the stalk at the stem end of the garlic stays soft. That is the reason why you may often spot white garlic bulbs braided together. The white garlic cloves come in all different sizes.

Raw garlic has a pungent taste and odor but cooked garlic has a soft, sweet buttery flavor. Fresh garlic can be used in all types of cuisine to help spice up the flavors. Tip for garlic handlers, you can eliminate the garlic smell from your hands by simply rubbing your hands with a stainless steel utensil.


How to pick good fresh garlic?

Fresh Garlic / Purple Garlic

First off, pick up the garlic bulb and give it a light squeeze. The bulb should feel firm and the skin should be dry but not dehydrated. There should be no creaks and no dark brown spots. Unbroken garlic bulbs should last several months but individual cloves with skin should be used within 10 days.


Subsequently, keep an eye out for any sprouting. You can check this by cutting a garlic clove open vertically and looking at the garlic germ. The fresher the garlic, the shorter and smaller the garlic germ. If you could see the green germ sprouting above the clove prior to cutting the garlic, you know it is not the freshest garlic around. After choosing good garlic, it is also important to store the bulbs in a cool, dry place without direct sunlight to keep garlic fresh longer. 


What is garlic germ?

Fresh Garlic / Maturing Germ / Sprouting

Garlic germ (also known as garlic sprout) is the sprout at the center of a garlic clove. When the garlic is young, the garlic germ is small, pale, and tender. As the garlic ages, the garlic flavor also grows stronger. Over time, the garlic germ turns green and grows bigger, looking similar to a miniature scallion or root. If you let the garlic germ continue to develop, it will eventually become a garlic plant. Anyhow, if your garlic has these large green sprouts and you'll be using it raw or lightly cooked, it is recommended to remove the garlic germ to avoid the unpleasant bitter taste.



Since you now have the tools to master the art of garlic picking, you should find a quality supplier to ensure the same premium garlic every time. Purvey'd carry high-quality, fresh purple garlic. Our fresh garlic is shipped from China year-round. Check out fresh garlic to place an order or peek at what we have in stock. Our stock pictures are updated daily, so you can rest assured that what you see is exactly what you will get. Please email for any questions.

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