Alternately shunned and revered throughout history, garlic is now firmly established as an essential cooking staple.

For years, garlic was used only medicinally or as a food for the poor, but now the notion of cooking without garlic is near inconceivable; its sweet pungency adds an incomparable flavor to cuisines worldwide.  Indeed, near-mystical powers have been attributed to garlic, from Eleanor Roosevelt who consumed chocolate-coated garlic pills every morning to help her memory, to Pliny the Elder who mixed garlic with wine and spices to improve his manly vigor.  The Central Europeans and Indians even used garlic to ward off demons and vampires.

One subspecies of garlic is Hardneck, a category that includes Rocambole, Porcelain, and Purple Stripe.  Hardnecks are recognizable by their hard central stalk and the uniformity of the cloves.  They also have less of an outer bulb wrapper which makes them more sensitive and reduces their shelf life.


in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Or, cut into pieces and freeze for six months.