To Cure Garlic Or Eat It Fresh Out Of The Garden?

It’s always fun when one of our blogs sparks discussion! We love hearing from our readers and learning about what they do in their gardens. I wrote an article in 2021 about harvesting, curing, and storing garlic, and boy, did I get some feedback. While many enjoyed the piece, others were a tad miffed that I’d suggested curing garlic before eating it. With the garlic harvest quickly approaching in many regions, now’s a good time to dive into that topic: to cure or not to cure garlic bulbs?

Stepping On A Few Toes

In my original post, I recommended curing garlic for about two weeks in a shady, dry spot with good airflow instead of eating it fresh out of the garden.

A couple of our readers were outraged.

One demanded where I got my information (The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which I consider pretty reputable).

Another wanted to know why I’d deprive myself of the taste of super fresh garlic (a valid question, for sure).

So Sorry!

So, let’s clear the air. For the record, eating garlic right after harvest is perfectly acceptable! Curing the bulbs is an option, not mandatory, and I should have been clear about this in the post from 2021.

Living in a cooler climate in Canada, my growing season is shorter than others.

I plant dozens of bulbs every fall before the snow comes. It’s unrealistic for me to harvest them in the summer and expect to eat them all so quickly. Curing most of the crop allows me to preserve it longer.

If you’ve only planted a small row or two of garlic, then by all means, enjoy them fresh for those few weeks in the summer.

Fresh garlic has a shelf life of about three weeks. My ‘aged’ garlic lasts several months after harvest. It saves me from continually buying this culinary staple at the supermarket. And it tastes just as fresh as the day I harvested it!

Garlic Growers, Unite!

So, to cure or not cure? That’s a personal choice with no right or wrong answer.

Ultimately, all that matters is that we all enjoy this medicinal, tasty, homegrown crop, no matter what we do with it after harvest.

Bon appetit!

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.