Known as the stinking rose. The edible bulb is made up of sections called cloves, that are encased in a parchmentlike membrane. Three major varieties are available in the US: the white-skinned strongly flavored American garlic; Mexican and Italian garlic, which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the white-skinned, mild flavored elephant garlic, which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek. Green garlic, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves; resembling a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb. Garlic's essential oils remain in the body long after consumption, affecting breath and even skin odor.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Choose firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid soft or shriveled cloves and garlic stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department.
How to store: Store fresh garlic in an open container in a cool, dark place. Unbroken bulbs can be stored up to 8 weeks. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep 3-10 days.
How to prepare: Crushed, chopped, pressed, pureed, minced or roasted
Matches well with: beans, beef, beets, cabbage, chicken, eggplant, fish, lamb, lentils, mushrooms, pasta, pork, potatoes, rice, shellfish, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini
Substitutions: 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes = 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice