How you purchase, store, prepare and cook garlic, makes a difference in the flavor and the health benefits.
Purchase the freshest garlic, as it has the best taste.
Farmer’s markets are great for this as they usually have many varieties of hardneck or softneck to experiment with. The white bulb is the more common American softneck variety found in grocery stores and stronger in flavor. The garlic that has a bit of purple color is either the Mediterranean (Italian) variety, or from Mexico and is usually a little milder in flavor.
Fresh garlic should feel very firm when pressed in your hand and a bit heavy. Old garlic begins to get soft and sprout and has a more bitter taste. Always, remove the sprout before your start cooking and you will still have a pretty good tasting garlic. If it is spongy, or feels like nothing is there, throw it out and get fresh. Fresh garlic is very inexpensive.
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