One might perceive that all garlics come in the same types, whereas that’s not true. This all-around spice doesn’t come in one variation, but there are different types of garlic that you can find in the markets and farms all around the world.
Garlic came from the species of onion genus, the Allium sativum. Its closest relatives are onions, shallots, leeks, chives, Welsh onion and Chinese onion family. The garlic is believed to have originated in Central Asia and northeastern Iran, but a lot of garlic varieties are being grown in every corner of the globe.
Aside from being one of the most popular spices in different recipes, garlic is also used as a natural medicine. This stinky spice is not just your ordinary ingredient recipe for garlic flavor and can be used in different things.
What Are The 12 Different Types Of Garlic
Garlic is being distinguished by two categories, which are softneck garlic and hardneck garlic. Softneck garlic allium sativum is a type of garlic that’s best to grow in a milder climate region. Softneck garlic matures faster than the hardneck garlic and they don’t form scapes, plus they generally contain several small cloves per bulb.
The hardneck garlic varieties have garlic scapes which is the long flowering stem that eventually develops tiny bulbils at its top end of its woody stem. Beneath the garlic scape is where you will find the central flowering stem that the single row of cloves are wrapped together in a papery sheath to form the bulb of the garlic.
But aside from these two garlic varieties, there are sub-categorized types of garlic that you can find elsewhere. Let us check what are the different types of garlic that you might not have known. You might want to grow some of them in your own home garden.
1. Elephant Garlic
The elephant garlic belongs to the onion genus family, which is a perennial plant. Sometimes, it is referred to as a solo garlic as its bulb produces large cloves. Elephant garlic produces a milder flavor when compared to other garlic varieties, which some people find it more palatable. It can be roasted whole on the grill or baked in the oven and can be used as a garlic spread on butter toasts.
This type of garlic can be planted at two different times of the year, and that is spring and autumn. Elephant garlic can also be grown over winter and can be harvested late-spring in areas with warmer climates.
2. Chesnok Red Garlic
The chesnok red belongs to the hardneck garlic varieties that have cold-hardy, purple stripe scape known for its fine flavor and smooth texture when roasted. The chesnok red garlic plants produce large bulbs with up to 12 medium-sized cloves per head. Since this type has garlic scapes, it belongs to the hardneck garlic varieties.
If you are planning to grow this type of garlic, simply prepare a full sun in loose, well-drained soil and plant the garlic bulbs in it. You can position the garlic plants at least two to four inches apart on a twelve inches row. This type of garlic doesn’t grow on seed garlic.
3. Georgian Fire Garlic
This garlic is a favorite by home gardeners and farmers due to its stunning flavor and cloves. The garlic cloves are large and could grow from 6 to 8 cloves per bulb. To get the best of its flavor, you can roast the georgian fire garlic. Others may prefer to eat it fresh and raw due to its pleasant hot flavor.
You can plant this type of garlic on rich, well drained soil that is weed-free. For regions with colder climates, you can plan this in December. It may take up to 210 days for this garlic to mature.
4. Artichoke Garlic
The cloves on this one are arranged inside on a layered structure that is similar to an artichoke. That is why it is named as the artichoke garlic. It can produce up to 14 cloves of different sizes from each bulb. The garlic plants of an artichoke are shorter with broad horizontal leaves and no scape, making it fall into the softneck garlic varieties.
This garlic is one of the most commonly seen garlic varieties in supermarkets. Its garlic flavor can be very mild and pleasant, while others have greater depth of flavor. You can easily grow these types of garlic and this is actually one of the favorites with commercial growers. They are easier to grow and produce larger bulbs that most other garlics.
5. Porcelain Garlic
Porcelain garlic belongs to the hardneck varieties that are large and attractive. Those who are struggling when it comes to peeling, you don’t have to worry as this garlic is very easy to peel. Its bulb can hold up to seven cloves which are delicious to eat.
Growing this garlic should be the same as the other types. Just plant this garlic in a well-drained soil sometime in the fall. That’s the time when the solid is cool which is perfect for cultivars. Make sure to dig in a generous amount of compost or well-rotted manure before planting this garlic.
6.Inchelium Red Garlic
Inchelium Red garlic is one of the most flexible types of garlic as it can adapt to different growing zones, with high productivity, and early maturity. Its bulb can also hold up to 16 cloves of garlic, which is good for commercial produce. The bulb could also sport a thick skin which is good for storing them.
This garlic could produce a mild pungent taste with a medium level of spiciness. You might find this garlic during late summer through early fall as those are the times where they are harvested. It is also important to note that the inchelium red garlic is an excellent source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, and manganese.
7. Purple Stripe Garlic
The purple stripe garlic is one of those attractive hardneck varieties of garlic due to its skin color. It has vivid purple stripes or blotches on the wrappers and skins, somewhat like a glazed purple type. The shade of purple may be vivid or pale depending on the climate temperature.
Purple stripe varieties of garlic can hold up to 12 cloves on each garlic bulb. You can plant this garlic during fall season, before the ground freezes.
8. Creole Garlic
This resilient hardneck variety has demure white wrappers that hide a lush and vibrant interior. Creole cultivars are highly regarded by garlic fanatics and are said to have originated in Spain. Its wrappers are thick enough that allows a long storage capability, plus these varieties of garlic have a delicious taste.
Its pale lime to deep green plants and leaves may vary between cultivars and climate. The scapes of this garlic may produce gentle curls, while other scapes might exhibit a graceful droop. The cloves can be medium to large in size and could range up to 12 cloves in a bulb.
9. Kettle River Giant Garlic
The kettle river giant garlic came from the types of artichoke and is capable of producing large garlic bulbs. Some bulbs could reach up to 4 inches in diameter. The rich flavor of this garlic may differ but it has an intense with earthy notes, medium heat, and a smooth yet subtle finish.
This garlic type is available during the summer season. It is also rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. With its high allicin content, you can also count on this garlic for antibacterial and antifungal properties.
10. Red Toch Garlic
Red toch is a beautiful garlic with red and pink stripes. In the small Republic of Georgia village from where it came from, it is known as Tochliavri. This variety of garlic also came from the family of artichokes, which is a softneck variant. What’s amazing with this garlic is that it can produce up to 18 cloves in a typical bulb.
This garlic matures early and growing the stalk should not be complicated. You can start during autumn and expect a harvest during the spring season. Its roots will expand to its fullest in cold climates. Water in with an interval of three days.
11. Black Garlic
This may sound weird, but you got it right, there is garlic that is colored black. The reason why it is black because of the aging process it went through called caramelization. Black garlic is being used as a flavor in a lot of asian cuisines. You can use any garlic and turn it into a black one.
12. Susanville Garlic
This softneck garlic is white-skinned with some occasional pink and is popular due to its mild but true garlic flavor. It is said to be an improved variation of the California Early varieties. You can expect this garlic to be available from September through mid-October.
What Are the Best Types of Garlic
Depending on the variety, there must be one garlic that would suit your taste. Just grab them at the farmers market and prepare some nice recipes with it, like a garlic buffalo sauce. If you are looking for garlic that has a longer storage life, choose those with thicker skins.
If you are looking to plant them in your garden, make sure to check which seasons they are best to be planted. You can search it on some good garlic related websites or search it on your local agriculture office.