No Vampires Allowed! A Beginner’s Guide to Garlic

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Garlic-Web600 Photo Credit: Becca Ewing

Halloween is this weekend, and I’m not going to teach you how to make stupid dirt pudding with spooky gummy worms and RIP cookies or pumpkin pie… dip!?- don’t even get me started. I’m so not excited by dumb recipes that put processed sugar products with other processed sugar products and then are targeted towards millennials because clearly all we can do in the kitchen is mix crap together. Forget Halloween-themed nonsense, I get scared when all the recipes that pop up in my feed consist of dumbed-down processes, over-simplified ingredients, and the worst- ‘dump’ meals. It turns me into a rage zombie, hungry for recipes that take me seriously as a young cook.

This primer is all about garlic, the closest metaphor to a Halloween-inspired post you might get out of me. Vampires might not agree, but different types of garlic bulbs are great to try out in the kitchen. The low investment and long-lasting versatility allow you to pick up a bulb whenever you find an interesting one. Plenty of recipes feature garlic, so it won’t be hard to use up a bulb. Use the graphic above to match varieties below, some more hard to find and specialty than others. What do you use garlic for? Let me know in the comments below!

GarlicFest-14 GarlicFest-20

Beginner’s Guide to Garlic Varieties:

Black Garlic: Garlic that has been fermented for a long period of time at a higher temperature. Black garlic is sweeter with a really intense, garlicky-umami flavor.

California White Garlic: The most common garlic variety, this garlic can be more pungent in smaller cloves, or more mellow in bigger crops.

Elephant Garlic: The whole garlic bulb can be as big as a softball! The large cloves are mild in flavor, and can weigh as much as an ounce.

Garlic Braid: Roots of the garlic are pulled into a decorative braid, ideal for storage and holding multiple bulbs of garlic together.

Pink French Garlic: Garlic that has a faint pink stain on the outer peel, found in specialty markets in limited quantities. This variety from France is sweeter and more mellow, and less sticky than common garlic.

Spanish Purple Garlic: Garlic that has a faint purple stain on the outer peel with relatively smaller cloves.


Thanks to the wonderful Becca Ewing for helping me take amazing photos for this post! Be sure to check her out on Instagram.

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