Garlic and onions are two of the most common ingredients you will find in many kitchens. A quick look at a savory recipe will usually need one or the other and sometimes even both. These two ingredients together with tomatoes are two of the cooking trinity Filipino cooking.
Since these two ingredients are so often used together, it’s also common to see them stored together as well. That’s okay! Neither ingredient affects the other under normal circumstances so storing garlic and onions together is natural.
If you store these ingredients together, here’s what you should know:
1 Always keep the container dry and airy.
The biggest enemy of garlic is other ingredients. Since onions contain more water than garlic, it has a tendency to spoil and go mushy faster. When this happens, it can affect the garlic as well as the other onions in the container.
Mold is the biggest enemy of both of these ingredients so it’s a good idea to use a container that has enough ventilation to prevent the onions and garlic from developing mold. If possible, store your stash of onions and garlic in a container with a rack underneath, in a net bag such as mesh or crocheted produce bags, or basket or box with slats to prevent moisture from developing.
2 Practice First In, First Out (FIFO).
Learn and practice FIFO, or First In, First Out, and it’s the number one rule in food storage. All this means is that whatever food you put in storage first needs to also be one of the first ones that come out first, too. This tip will prevent spoilage because no food will stay in storage longer than it needs to.
This policy can be applied to all your ingredients, including choosing which onions and garlic to use first in your recipe.
3 Check for spoilage just in case.
There’s sometimes an onion or a garlic bulb that spoils or dries out faster than the rest of the bunch. You can’t always avoid picking a bad one!
Since this does happen, it is a good idea to check your stash. You can casually do this when you need a bulb or two for that stir fry. It’s easy to check onions since onions turn mushy when it starts to spoil. This mushy onion not only invites bugs but also mold to the basket so prune your stash when you can.
Garlic on the other hand might look fine on the outside but may have dried up on the inside. A quick check every time you grab a few cloves will help you practice FIFO and preserve the other bulbs in the basket.