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What's Going on with This Garlic?

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When big things come in normal-sized packages. 

Giant GarlicMonster garlic cloves, dime for scale. 

When I bought a few heads of garlic at the supermarket this week, I felt like I'd won the lottery: They were purple around the contours with long stems, and as weighty as little coin purses. This is the grocery that's so poorly stocked it sometimes doesn't have garlic, so I did a little heel click in my brain and went home to make Sautéed Shrimp with Lemon, Garlic, and Parsley.


But if I'd make it by the book there might have been a problem. When I ripped open the garlic I'd bought, this is what fell out—cloves the size of shallots! The recipe already calls for 4 cloves of garlic, and they were so large I only had to use one. 

What's going on here? I asked Sarah what she thought, and her response seemed spot-on considering where I'd been shopping: "GMO??? So big!!" It is indeed a gargantuan specimen. Kenzi, on the other hand, wondered if it was "elephant garlic." I did some looking around, and the latter seems unlikely—the garlic head itself was normally-sized, but with four giant cloves in place of many small ones. 

Farmers? Anyone ever grow something like this? Let us know in the comments. 

Tags: giant garlic