Garlic is one of the healthiest and most versatile ingredients that you can cook with. It’s packed with antioxidants, helps boost your immune system, and can even help lower blood pressure! But did you know that there are different types of garlic?
Therefore, we’ll discuss the most common varieties to give you a head start on your cooking. Next time, this will help you whip up an Italian or French dish.
Table of Contents
- 1. Hardneck Garlic
- 2. Softneck Garlic
- 3. Spring Garlic
- 4. Garlic Scapes
- 5. Chesnok Red Garlic
- 6. Elephant Garlic
- 7. Porcelain Garlic
- 8. Georgian Fire Garlic
- 9. Purple Stripe Garlic
- 10. Artichoke Garlic
- 11. Creole Garlic
- 12. Kettle River Giant Garlic
- 13. Red Toch Garlic
- 14. Black Garlic
- 15. Susanville Garlic
1. Hardneck Garlic
These are also known as stiff neck or Italian garlic and are some of the most common at grocery stores. Their flavor is more robust than soft neck varieties, and they have a slightly firmer texture than the other different types of garlic. Hardnecks tend to store longer but are trickier for home gardeners to grow.
2. Softneck Garlic
This is what most people consider when they think of the different types of garlic we have. The cloves are relatively large and have a very easy-to-peel skin.
It’s perfect for slicing or mincing because it doesn’t hold up well in long cooking processes, like roasting or frying.
However, it does retain its flavor well and makes excellent spreadable garlic butter! Softneck garlic has 3–6 months of storage time.
3. Spring Garlic
While closely related to garlic, spring garlic is often called green garlic because it’s harvested while still young. You can also treat it much like a scallion. This is one type of garlic out of the other different types of garlic we have.
It can be served raw in salads, or you can cook them for a milder version. Moreover, you can prepare it at home as your favorite restaurant dish. Spring garlic sells as a root, but you can separate and replant each clove.
4. Garlic Scapes
These are shoots that grow from garlic bulbs during summer. They don’t have gloves, so they aren’t as strong as regular garlic, but they boast tons of nutrients. You can use them in a variety of ways.
Used raw in salads, stir-fried, and even pickled. The scapes taste best when it’s still green. However, if you want to buy these particular different types of garlic, look for tight, closed buds at the supermarkets for freshness. When cooking with scapes, keep them whole. Get all those nutrients intact!
5. Chesnok Red Garlic
This is not readily available in supermarkets. Nevertheless, you might be able to find it at the specialty shops. According to Correll, it’s described as having a rich and hearty spicy flavor without being hot.
The Russian Red has a slightly higher amount of antioxidants than other types. Its health benefits, for instance, are: lowering cholesterol levels or helping with blood pressure issues. Cooking with Chesnok Red Garlic helps your body absorb nutrients better.
You can try mixing it with different types of garlic in soups or stews during colder months! Its harvest season comes around October and November. Then, you can buy fresh, homegrown garlic from some farmer’s markets.
6. Elephant Garlic
While elephant garlic looks more like a head of conventional garlic than its cousins, it’s technically not a different type of garlic but a form of onion. The elephant variety is milder and sweeter than other types of garlic.
It is excellent for roasting, grilling, or sautéing. It can also be eaten raw. But take note: It has no cloves, so you’ll need to slice it up before using it in recipes, especially if such a recipe calls for minced or chopped garlic. This type of garlic is recognizable by its large size and spicy taste.
7. Porcelain Garlic
This garlic is all about color. For example, you can find red, white, and black garlic cloves on top of their regular white cloves. It can have different varieties able to contain up to 17 variations.
These, among other different types of garlic, are mainly grown for their looks and can be eaten raw or used in sauces. However, they may still have a slightly bitter flavor compared to other types. But that’s easy enough for you to fix—add some honey.
This type of garlic is available year-round. But the disappointing part is that it’s not always widely available at every grocery store. If you want to get it, you have to check at your local farmers’ market first.
8. Georgian Fire Garlic
Though it’s not widely known, Georgian Fire garlic is a South Caucasus variety with less heat than others. So, if you want more of a garlic flavor with less kick, Georgian Fire is for you.
Moreover, these different types of garlic have an easily recognizable appearance and aren’t hot. It makes a perfect choice for roasting or using in raw preparations such as dressings and vinaigrettes. It also retains its flavor well when cooked.
The only caveat is that Georgian Fire doesn’t keep long—it should be used within ten days after harvest. But hey, if you like fresh ingredients, why wouldn’t you use them in your dishes?
9. Purple Stripe Garlic
A relative newcomer on the garlic scene, the purple stripe is gaining traction for its sweetness and spice. As you might guess from its name, it’s prized for its reddish-purple hue and distinctive flavor. Furthermore, when we have these different types of garlic, among others.
We can, however, use the bulb in everything from salsa to dressings. But in most cases, cooks say it is most popularly used as a substitute for shallots in cooking. Purple stripe may not be widely available just yet (at least in being stocked at your local grocer).
At the same time, you can find it through Amazon or specialty produce sellers like Melissa’s Produce.
10. Artichoke Garlic
Also known as French garlic, these have tightly packed cloves that resemble little artichokes. They’re excellent for roasting and making pickles and relishes. This different type of garlic is a late-summer or fall crop.
With bulbs usually weighing between 4 ounces and 2 pounds each, the larger varieties are great for storage. This garlic originated in Spain but now comes from California.
This is where growers can grow artichoke without interference from European beetles (which love garlic). These bulbs taste nutty and mild when roasted or baked. Likewise, they are also excellent when chopped fine and added to foods while cooking.
11. Creole Garlic
As its name suggests, Creole garlic is a native to Louisiana and is known for its larger cloves. At the same time, it’s not always easy to find other different types of garlic outside of Cajun cuisine.
This garlic has a distinct sweet taste that some say is similar to a banana. Creole has been shown in studies to offer significant cardiovascular benefits.
12. Kettle River Giant Garlic
This is one of the largest garlic varieties in existence. They’re often known as tree garlic because they grow so large that the tops can reach 6-8 feet. They originated in Manitoba and were bred for their hardiness, size, and milder flavor.
However, this makes them perfect for growers new to growing garlic. The bulbs are great for storage, ideal if you live far from where other garlic varieties grow. A single bulb weighs about 2 pounds and has 10-15 cloves.
Among many different types of garlic, this type of garlic isn’t easy to find. The best place to get it would be a local market. Similarly, you can also find it online through garden stores like Burpee or Gardeners Supply Company.
13. Red Toch Garlic
Toch’s large cloves make it one of the most versatile garlic varieties. It has a mild flavor, making it ideal for raw preparations.
This garlic is often grown in China and South Asia. It can also be found in other parts of Asia and Europe, and North America.
It matures within ten months, making it an excellent storage option. Red Toch is used medicinally to help treat stomach ailments, including high blood pressure, constipation, gastritis, and gastroenteritis.
In addition, this particular type is different from other different types of garlic. It is known to induce sweating during a fever and ease pain caused by bronchitis and whooping cough.
14. Black Garlic
Once you’ve tried black garlic, you might never go back to eating plain or white garlic again. Unlike other different types of garlic, which comes in powder and silver forms, black garlic is sweet-tasting.
In addition, it’s kind of like a balsamic vinegar and soy sauce mixture. It has a slightly sticky texture that makes it easy to spread.
Black garlic can be added on top of pizza and blended into pesto. It can also be used as a marinade for meats or seafood. It adds a layer of flavor that makes food taste better!
15. Susanville Garlic
Susanville garlic has fewer sulfur compounds than other varieties with a somewhat mild flavor. It’s also known for its high content of germanium, an antioxidant blend that helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. These, out of other different types of garlic, are typically roasted and used in spreads, syrups, and marinades.
Garlic is one of those ingredients that can add so much flavor. Unfortunately for some people, it can cause some severe issues as well. That’s why it’s essential to know how to identify the types of garlic we are using.
Suppose you want to know your garlic when you buy them. There are three main ways to identify them; first, looking at their cloves.
Different types of garlic will usually have different-sized cloves, with an average of about six millimeters wide or more extensive (typically).
Second, smell: Some classes have a strong odor, and others are milder. When minced or chopped up, their aroma should become much more substantial.