Andrew, from Shalom Vegetables, has awakened me to “new garlic”. This just one week after Sally, from Canoe Reflections, lent me this great garlic book from her friends at The Dyer Family Organic Farm. This while I’ve also been getting back in contact with Hygieia Homestead, growers of many varieties of garlic for eating and for seed companies.
It’s been a convergence of outside influences helping to push and pull me to look harder, look closer at garlic. I love garlic. We’ve grown garlic since 2003, principally using garlic seed gifted to us by four fantastic CSA farms in the greater Traverse area. They sent us to central Michigan with most of our seed stock in hand. I bought a small batch of other varieties of seed stock in 2004, hoping to round out our garlic varieties. Since then we have been replanting from our “own” stock year after year.
I’ve seen and I’ve sampled new garlic in the past. A number of fellow growers always pull some garlic early. We always end up with some new garlic in our kitchen when we harvest our garlic crop.
I’ll be honest though, when I think of garlic I think of “cured” garlic. Though in some ways it has taken me a good long while, I will admit now, I do need to be challenged in my thinking! Who amongst us does not?
And as many or most of you know, it’s become time for our little market garden to stretch and flex and embrace some good change. People and books and recipes and eating and the internet and other information are helping me to do that.
So, I’m going to embrace “green” garlic next spring/early summer, and new garlic now. And I’m going to happily cling to my “cured” garlic come mid-late August too, thank you very much.
WHAT IS “NEW GARLIC”?
Also called early garlic, young garlic, or wet garlic in Europe, “new garlic” is more developed than the individual clove and leaves of what we sell as “green garlic”. It is sometimes harvested when the individual planted clove has begun to mature into a full bulb of many cloves (i.e., the leaves are still green), but “new garlic” can also be the first harvested garlic of the season, when the bulb has reached full size (and the leaves are starting to turn brown) with the surrounding papers and the bulbs still “wet”.
At this stage, the flavor is fresh, clean, and while not quite sweet like an apple, the texture and some residual sweetness in the flavor profile lends itself to frequently being eaten raw. The inner peels are still wet, not papery, not quite as stiff as an apple peel, and can also be eaten.
Use it any place you would use garlic, raw or cooked. Best used within a week or so. Refrigerate what you are not going to use that day.
these are a couple links I came up with, containing info and recipes
check ’em out