When NOT to Eat Garlic?

lois(PA Zone 6)May 22, 2011

I read that you should not cook with garlic that sat around long enough to start sprouting.

Assuming I planted the (hardneck) clove now, when would it be good to eat again? When it sends up green leaves, or would I have to wait until July when the leaves start to die back?

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rain1950(W. WA z8)

You need to wait until the foliage dies back, but you can harvest a few of the leaves as they are growing and use them. They have a slightly milder flavor, and can be srir-fried or braised.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 1:33PM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

Please search this forum and read posts on threads that already exist. All you could possibly need to know is here.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Before a first date or business meeting.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:23PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

LOL, phildeez, so true... still-kris, I did read the forum before I posted here, as well as trying to research out on the internet in general. I probably didn't phrase my question well enough, which can happen when I don't even know enough to ask the questions properly yet...

Here is why I asked:

On the one hand, as I said, I read that sprouting garlic becomes bitter, and you should therefore plant it instead of eat it.

On the other hand, I read about eating garlic in both the spring and the fall.

So, if garlic becomes bitter when the leaves start to emerge in the spring, when does it become good to eat again?

I went ahead and sampled some of the leaves, and rain, you are right, the spring garlic leaves are a treat. I did not sample the clove part which is what I was asking about because it seemed to smell quite pungent, much more than I remembered before I planted it. If I did try to cook with the clove, would it still be bitter? Or does it lose its bitterness after the leaves get to be a certain height? Or does it only lose its bitterness when its ready to harvest?

Thank you for your patience in answering the questions of a rank newbie, :o)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:50PM
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I will take a shot at answering your question.

Garlic tastes very different to different people, so 'bitter' to some might be a delicacy to others.
We prepare the green parts of some garlic by lightly saute'ing them with whatever veggie or meat we have on hand at the time, similar to garlic chives.
We also eat the new scapes of hardneck garlics ( before they get hard ) these are very good and usually are ready in late June here in Zone 5b/6a. This is from cloves that were planted in October ( 8 months earlier )

There are other reasons why garlic will taste different as well, growing conditions, varieties etc ..

Generally, if you plant in the spring you will only be getting 'greens' this year. To get the bulbs ( multiple cloves ) you should plant in late summer /early fall probably in zone 6, then mulch and wait 8 ~ 9 months and dig around the first of summer ~ July depending again on the variety and growing conditions that summer.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:48AM
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