Garlic Flavor Profiles and Recipes
Edna taste tests and describes garlic recipes below in order to provide you with some great ways to showcase your gourmet garlic. She provides flavor sketches of each variety we grow.
Edna is our creative cook. Her adventurous nature, refined palate and willingness to try any dish are legendary in our family. As children Susan and her siblings, Patty and Billy, would wrap a variety of ‘appetizers’ such as earthworms or tomato hornworms in leaves to see if Aunt Edna would eat it. Of course, all the giggling usually gave them away, but Edna was always a good sport about it.
Picture: Photo taken in 1965 at a boys orphanage in Naples, Italy by Mike Stiles, USN, collection of Stoney Compton.
Edna: The first time I saw this photograph, probably 30 years ago, I remember thinking, “Where did they find such large symmetrical cloves of garlic?” Of course, that was long before Grey Duck Garlic. Any of our large clove hardneck garlic varieties could provide you with a lovely plateful of garlic like the one these ladies are presenting. All these years later I still wonder, “What recipe requires an entire plateful of garlic?” If you know of one please let me know!
Jane has six or eight wild apple trees on her property, and every fall we traipse from tree to tree, dragging our wagon and tasting and arguing about which tree has the best apples for eating, for baking, for making applesauce, or for leaving for the local wildlife. In the last couple of years we have discovered that our different varieties of garlic are just as distinctive from one another as the apples are! And so the arguing continues with a different subject.
Following is a flavor sketch of each of our varieties that I thought particularly suited each one. Tasting is subjective, however, and we would welcome any input. Which garlic do you find best for eating, for baking, for making meat sauce or for other recipes?
For recipes recommended for each variety click on the specific garlic or see our Garlic Cookbook for an index of all recipes.
ASIAN TEMPEST has an explosive lively bite eaten raw, but cooked it develops an intriguing sweet flavor akin to sweet pepper. Yummy!
BOGATYR has a true-blue deep garlic taste without heat. When I first tasted this scrumptious bulb I thought, "Now that's garlic." If you like rich garlic, but want to skip the hotness, this garlic is for you!
GERMAN RED has a complex strong and richly aromatic flavor. When cooked, it adds a nice velvety garlic tone to stews and to game: the garlic flavor is definitely present, but not overwhelming. Jane says it is great for quick cooks who want an easy dash of flavor.
Picture: Beautifully wrapped Bogatyr garlic bulbs by green metal gate.
GEORGIAN CRYSTAL has a clean taste, not lingering, with a medium bite. It is mellow enough to be used raw in dips and a perfect complement to stir fries. Susan loves this garlic with shrimp and in crab dip!
LORZ ITALIAN has a smooth bold garlic flavor with a little more oomph and heat than most other softnecks. As you can tell from the name, it is commonly used in Italian dishes.
PARVIN has a pure hot bite which stays hot when cooked. Try it in any food where you want heat. Great for stir fries.
PHILLIPS has a cleaner taste than most Rocamboles. It will surprise you with its hints of green onion and heat.
SIBERIAN has a hot bite when eaten raw soon after it is chopped, but it is our most mild garlic when cooked. It is easy to peel and a good choice for baked garlic.
RED REZAN has medium heat, holds up well in cooking and it has little aftertaste. This garlic adds a delicious complex taste to dishes that is not immediately identified as 'garlic'.
ROMANIAN RED has hot spicy complex bite and it retains this heat when cooked. The flavor is robust and well-balanced, not just hot, and this garlic is a favorite of garlic lovers. Many of our customers tell us this is one of their favorites!
THERMADRONE adds a nice lasting authentic French flavor to dishes. It is mild and creamy.