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Garlic - do I have to dry for best taste?

I'm pretty good at growing garlic. Plant at Halloween, harvest July 4, pretty much neglect in between those dates. This year I'm down to 3 varieties, and harvested just shy of 200 plants. I've already ate a few (good as usual), and given some away. To store, I have two methods -both begin with a good dry hanging in a shed with good air flow. Then, (1) snip roots and leaves and hang in mesh bags in the crawlspace. This gets me good garlic until about April. Or, (2) dry, snip, rough puree with olive oil in the ninja, freeze using ice cube trays, store in freezer in freezer bags. These little ready-to-use garlic bombs are perfect for the less capable cooks in the family. And, I'm a year in and taste is still excellent.


So, my question to you garlic growing and eating experts out there, do I have to dry the garlic that I process and freeze? Obviously not required for stability, but what about for overall flavor?

I keep reading that it needs to be dried for storage, but, this is going into the freezer. Mine is spicy garlic - primarily Asian Tempest. Will drying it allow it to get spicier?

One thing about processing fresh though- it does peel easily.
 
fishhead said:
So, my question to you garlic growing and eating experts out there, do I have to dry the garlic that I process and freeze? Obviously not required for stability, but what about for overall flavor?

I keep reading that it needs to be dried for storage, but, this is going into the freezer. Mine is spicy garlic - primarily Asian Tempest. Will drying it allow it to get spicier?
 
Not being corrective - just clarifying....The preparation of garlic for hanging around the kitchen is curing..> .A Guide to Curing and Storing Garlic .
 
My interpretation of drying is
 
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So I guess my answer is......Cured - yes........Dried - no..................... 
 
Garlic that you want to eat right away can be used right away, straight from the garden.
 

salsalady

Business Member
no opinion about the drying-curing- discussion, just a note on the freezing.
 
I just puree it in the food processor and freeze it in flat pint-size freezer bags, no olive oil.  I imagine most things would be OK with olive oil, but there are things where you want the garlic without the olive oil.  I feel like the garlic flavor mellows a bit with freezing, but I have not done any specific comparisons to say for sure.
 
Freezing in flat zipper bags allows you to break off a teaspoon/tablespoon as needed.  Ice cube trays are a great idea, but it doesn't allow you to get just a small bit.  You could also puree with OO and freeze that in flat zipper bags. 
 
edit- i would say to hang dry it like usual for (3-4 weeks?) That would be the 'cure' step,  I can't remember the suggested time, then peel, puree, freeze.  I don't think you would want to peel/process it straight out of the dirt.
 
congrats on a nice harvest!  The Gorge would have perfect weather for garlic.
SL
 
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