Garlic taste test

AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)August 7, 2014

I bought heads of garlic at the Cherry Street farmers market in Tulsa Saturday. I got one each of 7 varieties.

Red pescadero (Creole)
Georgian crystal (Porcelain)
Metechi (purple stripe)
Shantung purple (turban)
Chesnok red (purple stripe)
Lukak (artichoke - softneck)
Red toch (artichoke - softneck)

The lady said she would have seed garlic for sale in September. None of these heads are very large, and the cloves are average to small.

We are tasting them raw and cooked to see if any really stand out. I don't have that great a pallate, but my husband is pretty good so I hope to be able to post our taste tests.

Today I learned there are 2 subspecies of garlic, hardneck and softneck and 10 varieties of true garlic (elephant garlic is another species). The hardneck varieties are Porcelain, Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Glazed Purple Stripe, and Rocambole; three varieties of weakly bolting hardnecks that often produce softnecks - Creole, Asiatic and Turban, plus two softneck varieties Artichoke and Silverskin.

Porcelains and Rocambole grow better in the north, though Porcelains can be grown in the south some years and store 7-9 months, up to 6 feet from base to scape.
Purple stripes mature mid season and store well. 3-5 feet tall.
Glazed purple stripes, iridescent cloves store 5-7 months. 3-5 feet tall.
Marbled purple stripe store 6-7 months. 3-5 feet tall.
Creole easily grown in the south and are more tolerant of adverse weather. Small cloves, store 9-10 months.
Asiatics and turban early harvest, short storing.
Artichoke is the commercial variety, large bulbs and store well. Store 9-10 months.
Silverskins usually hot, strong, longest storing and good for braiding.

Today we tried Pescadero Red. Mild, not very hot when raw. DH thought it cooked too long and carmelized. What I can say is I ate it without that shock you get when you accidentally bite into a clove. I mean there was garlic taste without having it overpower your mouth.

Pescadero Red (Fisherman's garlic)

Pescadero Red is an interesting Creole that has a nice pleasant garlickiness but only a little pungency. It is a little more pungent than Cuban Purple and not as pungent as Burgundy. It has a pungency rating of about 2 on a scale of 10 and a garlickiness rating of about 4. It is a mild, mellow garlic, great for pesto.

Pescadero Red is a very vigorous grower and can grow quite large. Like all Creoles, it is a long storing garlic.�
Harvest in late spring/early summer...stores well into sprIng.


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Nice! This is very helpful. We eat so much garlic I'm wondering if I should lean to the easily stored varieties. I need to hurry up and taste test.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:09AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

We tried Red Toch last night. I was excited by the link below which says this is rich but mellow. Both my husband and I thought it was too hot raw, hotter than the first one. I added it to pasta sauce, but I couldn't tell anything special about it cooked. Apparently heat can vary with the growing conditions and weather, so who knows if it is always that hot (or maybe we are wusses.) This one I found is also sold by Southern Exposure and Burpee.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Toch

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:01AM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

Keep the reviews coming. I really enjoyed your primer too :)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:08AM
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I second that.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:41AM
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I spent some time looking over the different varieties of garlic. Having dilapidated memory banks in my noggin, I searched an old thread on the topic of good varieties for Oklahoma. I'll post it here. I like what Jay ads to the knowledge bank.

What Type of Garlic Do You Plant and When?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:23AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

Lukac was not hot when raw, but tastey, could easily be used in raw recipes. DH said we needed more cooked garlic in the pasta, which may mean it was too mild, or that I should have really used more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lukac

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Just for grins I picked up some purple striped garlic from the grocery store. I did a raw taste test and found it wwoaah so hot and pungent. I'm fermenting my pickles with it. They dont' taste that great, but it's probably seasonings. The garlic is too strong, too. Meh. Learning.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:58AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

DH made up some salad dressing with the garlic we grew last year. I asked him if he put hot pepper in it. We were both confused until we figured out how hot raw garlic is. I guess we never really had eaten it raw before. Your pickles may taste better after they sit awhile. I don't have a "gourmet" palate. DH is better at picking out flavors. I suppose if you grow different varieties you have to experiment till you find the right amounts for your taste.

Funny story. A friend had made garlic flavored oil. Apparently it was in a normal vegetable oil bottle. Her daughter baked a chocolate cake with it, not knowing it was flavored. You can imagine the reaction. My garlic loving son said he would have eaten it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Oh my! Your son.... wow. Give that boy a pat on the back.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 6:38PM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

Chesnok Red: not hot when raw, good flavor raw. Smelled divine while cooking, but also not enough garlic taste in cooked product. The cloves were small, maybe we just needed more.

The description says it is sweet when roasted, and there was a sweetness to the dish we had tonight. It was brussels sprouts sauteed in garlic butter. I think I would like to grow this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chesnok Red

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Sounds Yummy!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:33PM
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