moldy or mildewy onions and garlic

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by siduri, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    I never had this problem ten years ago, but now i often get some garlic and when i cut it i can smell mildew.  The garlic LOOKS fine but it's not.  Garlic is a strong smell - if the mildew smell overpowers it, what is going on?  I can';t tell from the outside.  Are there any hints to this i can apply when buying them?  Sometimes they're perfect-looking, firm and clean.  If i can find them with significant amounts of root attached i get those since i presume they haven't been stored long, but usually i can't.

    Second, i often peel an onion and there is a black stuff between the layers that doesn;t seem to smell but looks like mold.  Is it dangerous?  can i just peel it off? 

    What say ye?
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Years ago they did not refrigerate onions or garlic in bags or boxes commercially, now they do . The moisture from the fridge sometimes affects the onions and garlic . Moisture condensates under the skin when going from fridge to outside storage and causes mold and mildew.

         Also in markets in daytime A/C is running on full power to keep people cool. At nitetime for economic reasons A/C is reduced therefor again creating a little condensation in the product. Sometimelook into a cello bag of carrots and you will see moisture droplets, this mkes them go soft and mold. Plastic bags on many fruits and veg. Defeat the circulation of fresh air that aids in keeping things dry. We try to eliminate handleing by putting in bplastic but sometime we defeat our own purposes. It's called Progress?

    P/S

       Another thing to note is some fruits and vegies are ripened by others. Example apples contain ans form ethelyne  gas which causes other fruits and veges. to ripen and go bad faster. Never put apples in a fresh fruit bowl on counter with banannas,  or peaches ,plums, apricots as they will ripen faster.

       On the other hand if you buy flowers that are not opened ,put in plastic bag wth a few slices of apple this will hasten opening(roses,tulips etc), will also ripen fruit faster (pears, tomatoes etc) Food is chemistry and chemistry is food.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  3. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks Chefed, i particularly like the "ripening" flowers trick. 

    I buy the garlic and onions at the outdoor markets here (never air conditioned, and in summer it's hot) but i bet that while in the past the stuff was just stored in a cellar or something before selling, now it;s probably refrigerated.  That would explain it. 

    Is an onion with black mold between some of the layers ok if i throw out those layers? 
     
  4. thatchairlady

    thatchairlady

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    If I cut an onion and it proves to be less than perfect... I just get rid of any ugly layers and use whatever's left.  In fact, have one in my kitchen right now that I'll be using today... noticed it has started to sprout.  I know when I cut it, will probably find so really green sections inside.  I "think" when they get to this point, they can be kinda strong?!?  But that doesn't matter to me.

    I don't store onions or fresh garlic in the fridge.  Have a growing collection of those big glass crocks.  When I first started using one, put the lid on... not a good idea for long term storage.  Leave lid off now for air circulation.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm with Thatchairlady. Peel off the bad layers, trim or don't use the portions that are discolored. Usually the inner layers are fine with onions.

    With garlic, I discard any with large problems. i'll trim out damage on large cloves usually. medium and smaller cloves I'll toss as there's not enough to salvage usually. And I have plenty of garlic on hand generally.

    Keep your onions and potatoes away from each other too. They seem to make the other go bad faster.  A few feet seems to be enough.
     
  6. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks, Thatchairlady and Phatch, but I'm not sure if you both have the same kind of problems i'm talking about.  When onions sprout there is usually a sort of mushy and stinky layer in there, and i peel it off and the others are ok. 

    But this is black stuff, mold, probably.  And molds are dangerous, they say, at least some of them.  So is it safe to wash off the mold (it;s usually on the layer under the "skin" and the onion under it is perfectly hard) or should i peel off another layer, or should i toss the onion.  Is that a dangerous kind of mold?

    For the garlic, they look perfectly fine, even when peeled, with no visible mold or mushy or ruined parts, but they smell mildewy. 
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    thats what I'm talking about too, but it's often a few layers deep, not just under the skin though some are that way.  I peel off any layer withat stuff on it.
     
  8. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  9. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks, Pete, that's reassuring. 
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    To be safe. If in fact it is black mold , dont chance it throw away as blck mold in most cases is toxic. Green however just throw that part away.

    Brownish and soft is simply rot, cut around it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  11. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I was curious about the issue that Siduri raised about the garlic and mildew.

    I find that problem as well here in Arizona and also wondered if that a bad thing? 

    Should I toss the head out?