We’ve broken it down into cloves.

1. The best time to buy garlic

Buying during midsummer through into the early fall is best. Garlic is harvested mostly in the mid- to late summer—this is when it’s biggest, the most flavourful and will last as a bulb in a cool, dark place for a few months.

2. What to look for

Give the bulb a good squeeze and if it’s firm, it’s ripe and ready. It also shouldn’t have a strong garlicky odour; if it does, it could be mean the bulb is already moldy inside.

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3. Storing it properly

Keep the head whole (don’t separate into cloves) and store at room temperature in a dry and dark place—not in the fridge. Keeping garlic in colder temperatures will make the garlic sprout. An open paper bag in a pantry is ideal.

4. How long it lasts

A broken head of garlic (with the cloves separated out) will keep for about three to 10 days. Roasting your garlic is an easy way to make it last longer: if it’s refrigerated, roasted garlic lasts for two weeks; if it’s frozen, it lasts up to three months.

5. The best garlic gadget

Silicon garlic peeler scrolls: wrap garlic cloves in the silicon scroll and roll on a countertop. You should hear the crackling of the outside skin as it comes away from the clove. When the crackling stops, voilà, the clove is peeled. Oxo Good Grips Garlic Peeler with Case ($10), bedbathandbeyond.ca

6. How to reduce the smell

Many opinions on this, but the crowd favourite is drinking either green tea or milk and eating an apple to help your breath before that big date.