Garlic is beloved for its culinary uses, it’s a perfect addition to several dishes because it brings out a whole lot of different flavors and an aromatic experience. Garlic is also an ideal addition to any garden, too, because they are hardy and easy to grow. However, there are several types and varieties of garlic that are available in the market today. Each one of them has its own unique characteristics and uses. That’s why in this article, we are going to list down different types and varieties of garlic so that you would know which is which on your next grocery shopping.
Types of Garlic
- Hardneck Garlic – Also called a scape, this type of garlic is characterized by its woody central stalk and its green curly stalk. Hardneck garlic has cloves that form through a process of vernalization. It is where the garlic is exposed to cold temperatures by staying in the ground during winter. Hardneck garlic usually has four to twelve cloves in each bulb, and they are best grown in places with colder climates. You might be able to see a lot of hard neck garlic variety in the supermarket with different colors and flavors. While all of the types may look and taste slightly different, they still genetically the same.
- Softneck Garlic – You probably ran into a clove of soft neck garlic in the supermarket for so many times. Compared to hard neck garlic, this type of garlic usually has clove in place of the signature woody scape. However, they are less flavorful compared to the hardneck garlic. This type of garlic mainly grows in the south, and it doesn’t need to have as much cold exposure.
- Garlic Scapes – If you think that the hard neck and soft neck garlic represents true garlic appearance, then think again. Garlic scapes are the flowering stalk of the garlic that grows in the middle of the hard neck garlic bulbs. They are harvested from hard neck garlic during spring when they are still immature. If they are left to grow, the green stem will curl, and they will start forming a white bulb. Experts say that the scapes should be harvested when they first come up and before the stem gets woody. Garlic scapes are delicious, tender, and crisp when they are sautéed in butter or olive oil with salt. They are also a great addition to pesto.
- Spring Garlic – Also known as green garlic, this is the garlic’s version of the spring onion. To grow them, you should plant garlic in the fall and let it vernalize to form cloves. After that, plant the garlic in spring and harvest it at the end of the summer. Spring garlic looks like scallions, and they have a fresh, mild and nutty flavor. This is typically used in Asian cuisine, and it can be a substitute for scallions, leeks, chives, and garlic
- Spanish Roja – This is one reliable garlic variety because it produces large plants and bulbs that have five to eight large cloves each. It has a kind of spicy flavor, which is why it is a perfect addition if you want to add a little spice to your food.
- Red Rezen – This is medium-sized garlic that produces about five to nine cloves per bulb. They are recognized for their deep red stripes, and it is a perfect addition in pesto because it has a rich garlic flavor.
- Music – Experts describe this garlic variety as very hardy garlic that stores well. It has a large plant along with large white bulbs of garlic that has about four to six cloves. They are also easy to peel when they are fully matured, and they have a hot and long-lasting flavor,
- Stull – This garlic variety has a slightly milder flavor, and it belongs to the hard neck garlic type.
- Marino – This garlic variety has broader leaves compared to others, but they don’t grow very tall. Marino garlic produces a medium-sized bulb with a light purple to reddish color. It can produce about six to eight uniform cloves each, and it has a mellow flavor, which makes it perfect for roasting.
- German White – This is one popular garlic variety. It has large bulbs, and it is often used in several farm stands and garlic festivals.
- Georgian Fire – This garlic variety is considered to be the most disease resistant of all garlic. It belongs to a garlic group known as porcelain garlic because it has a satiny white outer skin. Its individual bulbs can produce about five to eight cloves each. Georgian fire is considered to be one of the best-tasting garlic varieties.
- Bogatyr – It has a whiter outer skin and stripped inner wrappers. One thing that makes this garlic variety unique is that it has a long storage life. Its bulb usually has about four to six cloves each, and they have a long-lasting hot flavor.