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Anybody here really like elephant garlic?  RSS feed

 
Heather Ward
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I planted my first patch of elephant garlic last fall, and in late spring I loved it as green garlic sautéed in butter or olive oil. Now the bulbs are maturing, and I am alarmed by the taste, which seems acrid and bitter to me either raw or cooked. They also froth when cooked. I will happily keep it around to eat the greens, but does anybody really like the bulbs? Is it possible that they need to be stored a while before cooking?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I only eat them when they're green and growing, I don' eat the bulb, as I want to keep these plants as a perennial onion.  They're actually a perennial leek.

 
K Putnam
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Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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I bought some a few years ago and wasn't thrilled with them.  So, I lactofermented the rest of what I had bought.  That mellowed out the flavor a bit and I cooked with it like regular garlic.  Though, I probably wouldn't leave the actively fermenting jar in the kitchen unless you really love strong garlic fumes, hahahaha....
 
Tyler Ludens
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I want to mention that these plants are incredibly durable - they will grow here for me with no irrigation.  They just go dormant in the dry times, but sprout back up with adequate rain or watering. 
 
Heather Ward
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Thanks Tyler, I do enjoy the green garlic ( or green leek, correctly) that they produce, but won't fool around with the bulb much further. I'm interested by your comments about their drought resistance. I'm in high-desert New Mexico where everything has to be irrigated, but they may not need all that much  extra water. I'll start experimenting with cutting back.
 
wayne fajkus
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It's a beautiful plant. Nice to know I can use the greens.
 
Larisa Walk
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Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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Maybe varieties of elephant garlic are different, just as is the case with regular garlic.  We love elephant garlic and do eat it raw on occasion, which we never do with the stronger flavored regular garlics we grow.  We eat the scapes too but not the greens so that the bulbs will size up.  Elephant garlic keeps better than any regular garlic variety.  We are still eating last year's harvest and it will probably keep in good condition well into this coming winter.  When we cook with our elephant garlic, we use it by itself in place of onion and regular garlic.  As to what variety we have, many years ago I mixed up the 2 varieties we were growing, Alcea Valley and a Bohemian type.  One came from a commercial farm near here and the other from John Swenson through SSE.  Not sure which one remains or if we still have a mix after a couple of decades have passed.
 
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