As a defining element in cuisines like Italian and Korean to its use in fighting off plague and vampires, garlic has a long and spicy history. In recent years, fresh, full-flavored garlic has been available at local farmers’ markets.
Choosing Local Garlic
At farmers’ markets, it’s easy. In the case of garlic, the farmer should have dried the bulbs before bringing them to market. You want bulbs that are completely dry to the touch.
You can buy purpose-made garlic keepers for storing garlic. A small, clean, overturned clay flower pot works as well. (Yes, the flower pot below is not pristine, but we just set up this shot to show you what we mean. We keep our garlic in a different terracotta container.)
Keep garlic in the dark to discourage sprouting. Good airflow helps prevent molding and keeps your garlic dry and as fresh as possible.
Because we have accepted stale supermarket garlic for so long, the taste of fresh garlic can be shockingly strong. You may want to use a bit less or add layers of garlic as you cook.
Elsewhere in the market, what to enjoy now!
Make a meal of local melons and August tomatoes. The perfection of these local crops makes you think about whether or not you want to eat the pale substitutes we get the rest of the year.
Get Some Before It's Gone!
Blueberries! Enjoy them now. We are reaching the end of their season. However, wild blueberries from Maine are just arriving at our home via Boston Organics.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2013 Penny & Ed Cherubino
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