Garlic is the perfect savory flavor to add to many food dishes. You can slice it, dice it, mince it, crush it, roast it, sauté it, grill it — you name it and you can do it with garlic. It's versatile enough to use in everything from traditional Italian pasta to Thai and Indian dishes. And if the taste isn't enough to convince you of its superiority, garlic also is good for you. It helps prevent heart disease, lowers your cholesterol and destroys free radicals better than anything man has created.
When it comes to choosing garlic as a pantry staple, you have a couple of options: You can buy fresh, unpeeled, garlic in whole cloves. If you store them in an open container (like a garlic keeper) in a cool, dry place, they should keep for about three months. Or you can opt for jars of already chopped garlic. It's available in water or oil, and saves you the step of having to chopped the cloves yourself. Plus, the jarred stuff has a much longer shelf life.