Garlic is a species of bulbous flowering plant in the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion and Chinese onion. For starters, fresh garlic is normally sold in heads, which are bulb-like and covered in whiteish papery skin. Remove the outer papery layer, and you'll see that one bulb is made up of many individual lobes that are also covered in papery skin. Each of these lobes is called a clove of garlic. Whole garlic should be stored between 60°- 65°F, and for most people, the pantry is a good spot. But peeled or chopped garlic is a different story, and refrigeration is now the best storage solution. Seal it up in an airtight container or zip-top bag, and it will be fine to use for about one week. Though widely used as an herb or spice, garlic is botanically a vegetable. It offers a variety of health benefits and is a particularly pungent ingredient sure to spice up your favorite dish. Unlike other vegetables, it's less commonly cooked on its own or eaten whole. Botanically, garlic (Allium sativum) is considered a vegetable. It shows characteristics of a vegetable as it has a bulb, tall stem, and long leaves. This bulb-shaped veggie is part of the onion family, which also includes chives, leeks, and scallions. Unlike its kin, a garlic bulb is made up of many smaller pieces called cloves. So-called wild garlic is similar, but not the same plant. Garlic is widely recognized for its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites. One study found that allicin, an active component of freshly crushed garlic, had antiviral properties and was also effective against a broad range of bacteria.