Considering the size of a clove, garlic packs quite a punch. It can single-handedly transform a simple slice of bread or a bowl of mashed potatoes into a delicacy. It can create a tasty hummus out of plain-cooked beans or enliven any sauce, dip or dressing. In fact, finding ways to incorporate garlic into your menus couldn't be easier. And it's a good idea, because while garlic's power to ward off vampires and evil spirits is questionable, its ability to improve health has been hailed through the ages—and proven by numerous modern studies.

Flavor Profile

Taste varies with types of garlic, from subtle and sweet to strong and hot, or pungent with a subtle background sweetness

How to Choose a Good One

  • Choose heads that are firm, plump, and without nicks
  • Avoid garlic that has dark, powdery patches under the skin, which indicates mold
  • Size isn't an indication of quality
  • Store unpeeled in an open container in a cool, dry place, away from direct light. Keep away from other foods
  • Don't refrigerate unpeeled garlic
  • Can store for up to three months if unpeeled. Once the head is broken, the shelf life is greatly reduced
  • If garlic begins to sprout, discard the sprouts, as these can be bitter (or plant and grow the garlic)
  • Can also purchase peeled cloves or minced, in olive or vegetable oil. This must be kept refrigerated

Peak Season

  • Available year round. Fresh from California from June through December.

Nutritional Highlights

  • Garlic has long been valued for its health benefits and antibiotic properties
  • It's very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium
  • Garlic is a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese
  • And it's a good source of calcium, phosphorus, selenium, protein, thiamin, potassium, iron, and copper

General Use

  • Mediterranean cuisine, also Asian, African, and other European
  • Any savory dish, including mashed potatoes, casseroles, soups, breads, sauces and dips, dressings and soups
  • Vegetables, poultry, fish, meat
  • Hummus
  • Delicious roasted. Bake in terra cotta garlic baker and use as a spread
  • Use to make garlic butter


Beans, black pepper, cayenne, chicken, cumin, fish, meats, onions, pasta, potatoes, vegetables