At the beginning of every month, I am offering C&Z readers a new wallpaper to apply on the desktop of your computer, with a food-related picture and a calendar of the current month.
Our calendar for June is a picture of fresh garlic (ail nouveau), which you can find on market stalls in France starting in early June.
For the longest time I never really stopped to think about the fact that the large majority of garlic heads the cook uses are dried, and if they’re dried, they have to have been fresh at some point, right? And if so, what does a fresh head of garlic look like?
Well, it looks like the above picture: the outer layers of skin, which will later become paper-thin and brittle, are lightly ribbed and quite thick. They offer some resistance when you pull them away to reveal the cloves beneath, and the latter are whiter and more satiny-looking than when they’re dried.
Fresh garlic can be used the same way you would dried, but it is softer in flavor, less pungent, and more discreet on the breath. It should be handled like a fresh vegetable, kept in the fridge, and eaten within a week or so. If a whole head sounds like too much to consume in that time span, you can either share it or freeze the extra cloves.
[Read about pink garlic from Lautrec too!]
Instructions to get your calendar are below.
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