When I visit my local food market to purchase garlic I have one of two choices - the usual papery skinned white garlic or elephant garlic. Occasionally I'll come across a purple striped variety, but that would be as exotic as it gets. My choices were limited to those three, and I was OK with that.
Now, though, I'm on the lookout for different varieties. Wait! There are more? You bet your garlic breath there is. How about Spanish Roja, Shvelisi, French Red Asian or Transylvanian? What about garlic that doesn't come in the usual artichoke shaped bulb? Did you know there was such a thing? Did you know that, just like apples, not all garlic tastes the same? I surely didn't.
Ted Jordan Meredith likens the varieties of garlic available to the varieties of apples we have at our disposal. Would you be OK with only Red Delicious apples being sold at your market? I know I wouldn't, and likewise, I shouldn't be satisfied with the usual Artichoke variety of garlic as the only type available to me.
The Complete Book of Garlic walks you through garlic from start to delicious finish. With chapters on Natural History, Cuisine, Therapeutic Benefits, Cultivation and Taxonomy and Diversity - you'll come away from this book a virtual expert in garlic.
If you'd like to grow garlic, simply at home or commercially, everything you need to know - the best type of soil, which variety is your best bet, how to water, when to plant and how to harvest - is included here.
I honestly never knew there were so many cultivars of garlic and I am now wiser and ready to branch out and explore my newly found options.
You can pick up a copy of The Complete Book of Garlic, A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith at the Timber Press website, or at Amazon.com.