About a month ago I bumped into Marie from Anselmo’s Organic Farm (now defunct) at the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Ballard. As part of the process of closing down the operation, they were in the process of pulling and drying all of the garlic they had planted early this year, and the Market officials were going to let her sell some at her husband’s doughnut booth. They brought in the first batch several weeks ago and it included two varieties that they had never brought to the market before, Polish Hardneck (left) and Thai Fire (right).
The Polish Hardneck is a very hearty and easy to grow Porcelain variety known for its pure white outer wrapper, large cloves and intense heat when raw. I can vouch for the heat and the ‘big’ garlicky flavor when raw - I let you know what happens when it’s cooked. The Thai Fire is a Turban variety has a head that almost looks like it’s ‘blooming’ when you peel away the outer wrapper - the brown skinned cloves spread out like petals from a flower instead of clinging to the central stem like most other varieties. It is supposed to have a complex flavor and a nice heat that slowly builds. I’ll be tasting and cooking with this one tomorrow, so I will let you know. Hopefully there will be more varieties to come.
To see more heirloom garlic varieties in the flesh just click Garlic Anyone.