This year I'm trialing four new garlics along with the standard store bought California garlic that I've been growing for a few years. I had some left over cloves of each variety after planting out this weekend, and decided to do some small sample taste tests. Mostly just to see if any of the varieties jumped out in any way.
The first test was just nibbling on raw cloves with a palate cleanse of red wine (what I am most likely to use at dinner). The second test was micro-planed garlic in an olive oil drizzle, then a chunk of ciabatta was dipped into the mix, again with a red wine cleanse.
The mildest garlic overall was Shilla. It was much milder than the Cali garlic, which I'm using as the baseline. I'm unclear why I would want a milder garlic when all I need to do is use less of a hotter variety. The hottest of the new varieties was Matskij, but it was not much hotter than my grow out Cali garlic. The Matskij did have some bitter overtones in the olive oil and ciabatta portion of the tests.
The two varieties that fell in the middle of the pack where Rose de Lautrec and Blanco Piacenza.
At this point I'm not ready to announce that garlic is garlic, but the lines of demarcation appear to be in degrees of heat and/or bitterness. There just wasn't a clear cut winner to unseat my grow out of store bought California garlic.