Market Look-Fors:

  • Tight, compact heads that are free of bruising or rot
  • Green garlic should have long, even stems that are slightly bendy. If they are very rigid they will be too woody to use the whole stem
  • Garlic scapes should have an even coloring and no wrinkly skin. The looser the skin the longer they’ve been picked and the flavor will be more mild


  • Cured heads can be stored in a cool, dark place like any storage onion or potato
  • Green garlic and garlic scapes should be kept in refrigeration because they are uncured and will dry out and have a greater likelihood of rotting


  • Garlic is edible in all of its life stages.
  • The tender green shoots in the spring are green garlic. Use the whole stem just as you would a leek. The flavor is grassier and more delicate than a clove of garlic but still decidedly garlic-y
  • Garlic scapes are the flower shoot sent up by the garlic plant in attempts to propagate. Farmers pull these to encourage the plant to put more energy into its cloves as a secondary form of propagation. Scapes are more delicate than either green garlic or cloves. I think of it like a scallion to an onion.
  • Garlic cloves are the powerhouse of the garlic world. When it is freshly pulled from the ground, I find the flavor is more delicate and sensitive to heat. (Read: dissipates when cooked, so for full effect shave and add raw.) Cured garlic is what you buy at the store, but from the market is a lot better– not sprayed with anti-fungals etc.