Want to know a bit more about Minnesota Hardneck Gourmet Garlic?
Two different Cultivators: Hardneck vs Softneck
Our garlic is Hardneck garlic, while most garlic you find in the grocery store that is grown in California or China is Softneck garlic. Hardnecks have long flowering stems, called scapes, which are delicious when cut in June. Of course, Hardnecks thrive in more severe climates, like here in lovely Minnesota!
The more interesting difference is in the taste. Hardneck garlic has a richer and more flavorful (more 'garlicky') flavor than softnecks. They also have much larger cloves, so fewer are needed when cooking. Hardnecks are closer to the original heirloom strains of garlic.
Best yet, hardneck garlic is healthier for you! Allicin is a sulfur compound that is found in Garlic and responsible for many of its health benefits including anti-bacterial, anti-virus, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, and antioxidant effects. Hardneck garlic contains 3x more allicin than softneck varieties.
Groups and Varieties of Hardneck
There are three different groups of Hardneck cultivators: Rocambole, Purple Stripe, and Porcelain.
Rocambole varieties have thinner outer skin so they do not store as long and are often the strongest flavored.
Porcelain varieties have thicker, tougher skin making them a better choice for longer storage. They tend to have the largest and fewest cloves per bulb and very full-flavored.
German White: bold garlic flavor that's not too spicy with sweeter accents and lingering heat. Great for pestos, sauces, roasts.
German Extra Hardy: rich, strong classic garlic flavor. Great in just about any dish, but especially in soups, pastas, and stews.
Purple Stripe varieties are named for their beautiful purple coloring.
Persian Star. full garlic flavor with mild spice with touch of sweet. Excellent choice for raw consumption but also holds its own as a baking garlic. Great choice for whole clove roasting.