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Garlic Through the Seasons

Debra Redalia

 

Suddenly, last week, the garlic sitting in a bowl on my kitchen island started sprouting!

 

Over the winter, around early December, I think, I purchased a whole bag of whole heads of garlic that were on the discount cart at my local produce stand. I had the idea I should roast them all, since I love roasted garlic, but I was so absorbed in redesigning six websites that I just didn’t get to it.

At the time I also had the thought that it was winter and that is the best time of year—no, the natural time of year—to eat roasted garlic. When it is at the very end of its cycle of life.

But I missed it. Now, these heads of garlic have gone on to reproduce! Instead of tight heads that I can barely pull apart, the sprouted heads are breaking apart on their own, each clove being released to start growing more cloves to make an independent head of it’s own. I’m just going to let these all sprout and plant them in my garden. I love watching them reaching out to reproduce (just in time for Valentine’s Day).

In our industrial supermarkets, we can purchase whole heads of garlic throughout the year. That’s how I thought of garlic all my life. It’s always available in the same form, month after month. But now that I have the opportunity to see it in the farmer’s market month after month, I see it has a lifecycle of it’s own, and each one is delicious.

You won’t see what I am about to tell you in the industrial supermarket, but you will find it in your farmer’s market if your local farmer’s grow garlic.

I was hoping to just be able to look up “garlic through the year” and get a nice write-up with pictures of all the edible phases of garlic, but I couldn’t find one.

So stay tuned and I will add them to this post this year as they happen.

Off the top of my head I think they are

1. garlic scallions
2. garlic scapes
3. garlic heads
4. matured garlic heads

Each have their own flavor and uses.

More to come on this and the cycle of life for other foods as well.