How to Braid Garlic

Have you ever wondered how to braid garlic? Have you noticed those braids of garlic hanging in the kitchen before?

Braiding garlic has been practiced for centuries for many different reasons. Back in the 1600’s, many people placed this garlic décor around the house to ward off evil spirits or vampires. Even though people still use the garlic braids to ward off evil spirits, (more for tradition than actual belief), many believe it brings good fortune in the kitchen as well.

Perhaps the meals will taste better? In fact, they do seem to taste better considering garlic braids are meant to preserve the flavor of garlic. Regardless of the reason why, the physical act of braiding garlic requires patience. They are pretty cool looking, though, don’t you agree? Below are some instructions on how to braid garlic for the next holiday or even your own home.

There are many different forms of garlic, but using a full clove with the top still intact is the best one.

Image author David Goehring

Garlic braids

You’ll need at least 12 cloves to ensure that the braid is complete. Make sure to clean the cloves of garlic prior to braiding in order to help preserve freshness. Once it’s clean, take the three largest garlic cloves and lay them next to each other. The middle clove should be lower than the other two to even out the braid. Take the stem of the right clove and cross it over the other stems while taking the left clove’s stem and wrapping it under the middle one.

Keep repeating this process until there is no longer any stem available. This allows another row of cloves to be placed on top of the first row of braided garlic. Take the braided part of the first row and intertwine it with each garlic clove of the new set. Repeat the same process with the stems from the second row until there is no longer any stem left. Continue with a new row of three cloves until you’ve used the 12. This is how to braid garlic effectively. Depending on the purpose determines what the next step should be.

If the intentions are to hang it for decoration or belief, then store the newly braided garlic in a dark, cold area for two weeks for drying purposes. However, if the reasoning is to store and preserve the flavor, then keeping it in a humid, hot area would be a better solution; and drying it out is unnecessary. It is recommended not to give this item as a gift without allowing it to dry first.

For those who are not savvy in the act of braiding, many resort to twine to help keep all the bulbs together. Braiding is inevitable to create the unique look of braided garlic, but doing it tightly is not a factor. There are people who say a chant while braiding the garlic to ensure a blessing upon the room that bears it. Regardless, the question about how to braid garlic should never be asked again. It’s as easy as reading this.