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coookies 08-23-2010 04:17 PM

Garlic blight?
Hello - not sure if this fit in herbs or veggies or gardening so posting here :)
Every head of garlic that I've bought in the past few months has had pretty much every clove on it have some sort of brownish spot, sometimes large with white in the middle, almost looks like some sort of fungus got to it. I usually just cut it off and go about my garlic business, although often it takes most of the whole clove from me. What's up with this? Has anyone else had this happen to them or know what these spots are?

DaveSoMD 08-23-2010 05:38 PM

Are you buying them all from the same store? It could be their stock, how they store it, or something with their supplier.

4meandthem 08-23-2010 05:52 PM

It's old garlic and going bad.

If you don't have another source for fresh I would switch to jarred or buy online.

coookies 08-23-2010 08:11 PM

Its been from 3 different stores (A Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Stop & Shop) and from Stop and Shop I have bought both the heads loose in the bins and heads packaged. This has happened every time I've purchased garlic since late spring, even using the cloves from the head that same day. Once at stop and shop all of the heads were purplish - I bought a head anyway in high hopes - and that one was the worst yet. Most of the time though, there's no way to tell by looking at the head if the cloves have the brown spots though, not that I can tell at least...
Maybe time to try growing my own??
Edit: I should add that from the outside of the clove there is also no visible sign of anything other than normal, it's only once I smash the clove open that I see the spots.

4meandthem 08-23-2010 10:49 PM

I live right near the garlic capitol of the world (Gilroy CA) So I am fortunate to get fresh garlic most of the time.Even our supermarkets can hold on to their garlic too long sometimes.

With you, it is probably a shipping and storage issue.
You garlic is probably from CA.
If you are not in a major city than your 3 sources may come from the same original supplier.If the turn over is not there it sits too long.

I live in a pretty dry climate so i just leave my garlic on the counter in a 3 tier rack with my onions etc. I also don't buy a lot of these at one time so they don't go bad.

Garlic should be heavy for it's size and not give at all when you squeeze a bulb. The paper should nice and tight with several layers.Peel a clove in the store and show the produce guy if it is not up to snuff.

If your cloves are still hard and light in color with no green in the middle then i would just keep trimming them if it is minor.If they are soft or wrinkly or dried out
or moldy (black mold) I would find a different solution.

On Edit:The purpleish garlic is fine.It is just a different variety. The really big garlic ("Elephant garlic" and is not really garlic- but still tasty especial when slow roasted)

coookies 08-24-2010 12:05 PM

Thank you - the garlic is indeed still light colored and without green in the middle so otherwise normal, I will keep trimming it :)
I live just outside of Boston, so yep it probably is aging from shipping and I bet our super moist climate doesn't help either.
Thanks again!

blissful 08-24-2010 01:17 PM

We just had our first garlic harvest this year. It's so easy to grow on your own, even in small places, just plant in the fall and mulch it.

The crop of garlic here was harvested in July and then just dried until now. I cleaned them up and see no rot, thank goodness. Maybe you are just getting last year's crop??

I read a couple articles, with nice pictures. Maybe you can identify the problem comparing the garlic you have with these two sites pictures? Hope this helps.

Garlic: Organic Production

Mites, fungus, over watering, poor storage, could be anything.

coookies 08-24-2010 09:40 PM

Blissful, that second link is exactly what most of the cloves have looked like (at best!)
Garlic mites... oh my gosh that is SO gross...
Thank you! I guess I'll have to find a new source for garlic (Not sure it would grow up here in rainy MA and 3rd floor apt doesn't have much space for pots to grow in anyhow)

blissful 08-24-2010 09:57 PM

Oh my goodness, so sorry to hear of the mites!! Thanks for looking and figuring it out.
I might be inclined to open the garlic before I buy it and show it to the produce person before buying next time.
Hope you find a good source of garlic right soon! Glad I could help. :)

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