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What is the difference between garlic & purple garlic? Flavor wise, I mean.

I will be making a summer carrot soup and wondered what the flavor of purple garlic is like?

asked by Rachel Gaffney almost 2 years ago
6 answers 12717 views
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added almost 2 years ago

There aren't any major differences in flavor. Like any other crop, there are multiple cultivars of garlic.

Garlic has been classified into about ten major varieties, and there are probably a couple dozen that are commercially grown in the United States in sizable quantities. Worldwide, there are probably a couple hundred actively used cultivars.

Here in the States, there are probably 4-5 cultivars each of what you consider "regular" (white) garlic and what you view as "purple garlic."

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Pat is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

I'm assuming you're talking about garlic with a purplish skin...I find that the purple ones are juicier and grab them whenever I see them.

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Chops is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Agree with IPK. The bulbs with purple & white skin taste amazing and grab them up.

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added almost 2 years ago

I've gathered the following information from a garlic farmer. There are two major types of garlic--soft heads and hard heads. The white stuff that's sold year round in grocery stores are soft heads and those can be grown year-round in milder climates and green houses. These types of garlic has the larger outside cloves with smaller cloves inside the bulb. The hard heads are grown like a bulb--plant in the fall, harvest in the summer and cured (dried). Purple garlic is a type of hard head. All the cloves are about the same size. Flavor-wise, they are the same, assuming the same freshness. if you can find purple garlic locally, it'll have the best flavor. The white stuff in the grocery store may have been there for a while. The exception is elephant garlic (purple skin, but giant size) in that they have less bite to them than the smaller garlic. The fresher the garlic, the harder it is to peel the skin off.

I did grow purple garlic one year, inspired by this garlic farmer. THE BEST garlic I have ever had! I will be doing that for sure once I have a yard again.

Sorry. Long winded answer just to tell you they have the same flavor. But must spread the joy of garlic to the world... :)

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added almost 2 years ago

Correction: "necks," not "heads." Sorry, been working on heads so that word stuck in my brain

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Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 2 years ago

If I see purple garlic, I usually choose that over the white, but I, too, think you can use either type for your cooking. I pick out the garlic carefully, favor the plumper bulbs, and make sure they are not dried out or mildewed. I always check the garlic’s origin--lots of it is coming from China, and I don’t want any of that. If you see fresh garlic--that is garlic that not not been cured--give that a try. If the skin is soft and pliant, you don’t need to peel it.

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