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A braid is the perfect way to cure, store and display your homegrown garlic. Check out this "how-to" article, featuring a step-by-step slideshow, to learn how to get your braid just right.
STEP ONE:Trim the roots from the garlic, clean the bulb and remove its top layer of skin to tidy it up and make it more presentable.Photo/Image: Terry Guscott
STEP TWO: Moisten the tops of the garlic: simply wipe them down and wrap for 12 hour with a damp towel. Moistened tops are easier to work with, as they are more flexible.Photo/Image: Terry Guscott
STEP THREE: Lay three bulbs flat on the table and braid the tops as you would braid hair. When you get four weaves, add another garlic bulb, nestling it in close to the other three and adding its top to that of the one before it (you will only ever have three strands going at once). Weave a few more times and then add the fifth bulb. Continue on as long as you like, or until you run out of garlic.Photo/Image: Terry Guscott
Traditionally, hardnecks are the best for braiding, as they hold up to the process much better than softnecked varieties. Ideally, harvest your garlic and let it cure for three to four days before braiding. Store your garlic braid out of direct sunlight in a place with good air circulation. No care is required, other than occasional dusting. Garlic braids make a wonderful gift for the gourmet in your life. Best Garlic for Braiding ‘Music’: A hot, porcelain-white garlic. Easy to peel, this garlic has eight cloves per head and keeps for over nine months. ‘Aliah’: Very hot garlic with a lovely purple skin. Easy to peel, it has seven cloves per head and keeps for over nine months. ‘Purple Max’: Medium-hot, this purple-skinned garlic has nine cloves per head and will keep for over nine months.