The Only Type Of Garlic That Should Be Refrigerated

A top-tier contender for the greatest smell in cooking has to go to garlic and onion frying in olive oil. That irresistible fragrance filling the air is a sure sign that something delicious is going down in the kitchen, leaving any person within sniffing distance pining for the marinara sauce to come. Pair that with some garlic bread and dinner may not even make it to the table before its gone. That smell is just one of the many testaments to the beauty of garlic: Its pungent aroma elevates so many dishes that it's pretty much essential for home cooks to have on hand at all times.

That just leaves us with the problem of storing all this delicious garlic so it stays in prime condition for all your sauces and soups. Your first instinct might be to refrigerate it like so many other herbs and vegetables, but you would be off there. According to Kitchn, garlic's best home is in a dark, dry place like a pantry, as the cold from the fridge can cause garlic to sprout in a matter of days, making the flavor bitter. But garlic bulbs are not the only type of garlic you could be working with, and there is one other type of garlic that takes a lot better to those chilly temperatures.

Green garlic and garlic scapes should be refrigerated

It may look like a scallion, but green garlic is its own thing. As The Spruce Eats notes, it is actually a younger spring version of garlic that is harvested before producing a bulb. It still has that lovely garlic flavor, just a little bit more mellow, and can also be used as a stand-in for green onions. This is the garlic you want to keep in your refrigerator, with Epicurious suggesting the crisper drawer as the ideal spot to keep it fresh for a week or two. Just make sure its only loosely wrapped or bagged so that air can circulate around it.

There is one other garlic product you may be seeing more and more of that does better stored in the fridge. Garlic scapes are the fibrous stems that grow from the tops of garlic while they are in the ground and are usually removed by farmers to encourage growth of the bulbs. Cook's Illustrated says they also have some garlic flavor, but trend to be more herbal, making them great for stir-frys and pesto. They can join the green garlic in the refrigerator, where they can keep up to three weeks in a plastic bag. 

Keep an eye out for both green garlic and scapes at your local farmers market and use them anytime you need a bright and green garnish, but want a little extra garlic flavor too.