Preserving food has always been a part of various culinary cultures all around the world. From freezing meat for later consumption to practice pickling, most of the world follows somewhat similar methods when it comes to storage for longer shelf life. Similarly, another common practice that is witnessed worldwide is storing garlic and onion bulbs in braids. We must have seen our ancestors do this, but lost touch with the practice through the length of time or were muddled in finding the right method. Braiding these roots has certain points to be considered to make sure they last longer and remain fresh during that duration. It is said to keep garlic and onions fresh for a duration of almost 4-6 months if done right.
Besides, braiding does not only help store your produce for a longer time but is also helpful to harvest fresh homegrown garlic throughout the year. Also, we can't disagree that the practice of storing garlic by braiding looks much more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes rather than just throwing in a bag and storing them away. If sustainable storage is in your mind, here are some points you need to consider before braiding garlic.
Here's How To Braid Garlic To Preserve It For Months:
1. Don't pull by the stem :
When harvesting the garlic for braiding purposes, do not pull the garlic plant by the stem. Instead, use gardening tools to gently lift up from below with some extra mud attached to it. This will ensure the bulb and stem are still well connected and strong enough for storage.
2. Do not wash the garlic:
Once out of the soil, do not make the mistake of washing or cleaning your garlic bulbs, this will get them moist and that is not the ideal condition for them to be stored for a longer period. Instead, find yourself a rack and place it away from direct sunlight and in an area with good airflow, place garlic bulbs upside down to dry for 3-4 weeks.
3. Clean after fully dried:
Now that the bulbs are fully dried, clean lightly with your hands or a brush, cut off the access roots, clean the outer muddy layer.
After the garlic has been cleaned and trimmed, now it's time to braid it. The simple way is to select three bulbs and place them crossing on top of each other, place the next bulb in the center aligning the stalk up the middle, and braid from left to right, it obviously helps if you have some prior braiding knowledge or someone who knows how to braid.
For better details, take a look at this video here:
Try out this process and store garlic for a much longer time period. You can use the same procedure for storing onions too.