…like everything in our temporal world, garlic has a season. Single cloves are planted in the cold earth in winter; turn into tender, slender green garlic stalks in April and May; transform into garlic scapes and bulbils (if you have hard-neck varieties) in June; and, finally, in June or July, into the crisp, juicy cloves you find in a head of mature, just-harvested garlic.
Over time, those cloves will slowly dry out, and may eventually turn moldy, or send up a little green shoot when their internal clock says it’s spring again. That’s why garlic is best to eat in its season.
And that’s why I make garlic confit.
What the article does not mention is the risk of botulism. This article suggests that as long as you store it properly it won’t be a problem as “type A spores, which produce the most potent and dangerous toxin, is inhibited under 50F/10C”. The author also suggests not making more than you can eat in a two week period if you’re concerned. However, even though most say there is “very little risk” – there is still a risk, so proceed with caution.