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Garlic Varieties

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There are many varieties of garlic, each with distinct flavor characteristics.

Softneck vs Hardneck

Garlic is typically categorized into softneck or hardneck varieties.

Softneck garlicSoftnecks are what is usually found in the grocery store. They have white, papery outer skin over the numerous cloves. They have a flexible stalk, which allows the bulbs to be made into garlic braids.

Hardneck garlicHardnecks have a stiff stalk that coils from the top of the blub. Hardnecks have less of an outer wrapper, or even not at all. This gives them a shorter shelf life than softnecks. Hardnecks typically also have larger but fewer cloves on their bulbs than softnecks.

Type Description
Asian Tempest A hardneck variety that is quite hot when eaten raw
Brown Tempest A hardneck variety with brown cloves with a hint of rose blush. Raw brown tempest has a fiery initial taste, but mellows to a pleasing garlic flavor.
Bavarian Purple This garlic is a good, general purpose hardneck.
Carpathain Mahagony A hot and spicy hardneck variety.
Foxy Good, full flavored and general purpose hardneck.
French Red This is a softneck with many cloves, and has a good flavor and is not too hot.
German Red A hardneck with a zingy and hot flavor.
German White A hardneck with a white outer skin and dark red inner skin.
Italian Purple A hardneck with large cloves that are easy to peel. This is ideal for Mediterranean cooking.
Killarney Red A hardneck with a rich, hot and spicy flavor. The cloves are quite easy to peel.
Korean Red A hardneck that is hot with cloves that are easy to peel.
Legacy A hardneck with a hot and rich garlic flavor.
Metechi A hardneck that stores well and is very hot.
Music A hardeck with large cloves and excellent flavor. This variety is great for cooking and roasting.
New Yorker A softneck that keeps well and has a good flavor.
Northern White  A very pungent hardneck that is great for roasting and is easy to peel.
Persian Star A hardneck with large cloves that have red tips and rich flavor.
Pitarelli A hot hardneck that is good for roasting.
Polish White A mild hardneck.
Purple Glazer A hardneck with large bulbs and great flavor and shelf life.
Red Rezan A hardneck that has a strong and lasting flavor yet not too hot with no aftertaste.
Romanian Red A hot and pungent hardneck with that is easy to peel
Russian Red A hardneck with a strong and hot flavor. It has a sweet, warm aftertaste.
Sicilian Gold A softnect with moderate heat. This is an old world artichoke variety that is perfect with olive oil, pasta and Italian sauces.
Spanish Roja A hardneck having a purple streaked skin. It is has a rich, sharp flavor.
Susanville A softneck with large cloves that store well.
Temptress A very pungent hardneck. The flavor starts with a strong bite then mellows.
Ukranian A hardneck that heats the mouth with a pleasant aftertaste
Wild Buff A hardneck that is very robust and strong.

What about Elephant Garlic?

Elephant garlic is not listed in the chart above since it is actually not a true garlic. Elephant garlic is a variant of the species that leeks belong to, although it has a flavor closer to garlic than to leeks. Elephant garlic has a milder taste than "true" garlic and may be preferred by some when eaten raw, such as in salads.

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