I went to our favourite u-pick yesterday and found this garlic. I also learned something new. Not only can you use a garlic bulb, you can also use the bulbils that form in the flower at the top of a very tall stalk.
The man who owns the garden showed me how to coax the little seeds out, and said I should taste one. Well, it nearly knocked my (boots) off! Serious garlic going on here. How very intriguing… I had no idea…
So when I got home, I did a little research.
I found out that they are called bulbils, which are like miniature garlic cloves, and that they are actually a sort of seed. This seed can be planted, but it takes two or three seasons for the plants to produce. Apparently, it’s a great way to grow garlic because they don’t harbor soil-borne diseases.
Anyway, I had garlic mashed potatoes on the brain and couldn’t wait to get home and whip some up. When I boiled the potatoes, I threw about 10 bulbils into the pot and cooked them all together. I left the skins on the potatoes because they were fresh baby potatoes (yumm), and it makes them rustic, and probably more nutritious.
Anyway, the result? Too mild. Boo. Next time, I’m going to crush and add them when I mash the potatoes. I think the residual heat will cook them, but still preserve the intense garlic flavour. Or maybe I’ll surprise hubby and put some in the ice cream… see if he notices…
Barbara Hurst says
Ok, now I want mash potatoes and I have only had my coffee. Makes sense to me about the bulbils, better mild garlic mash potatoes than way too strong. My Mom would always plant garlic around her roses to keep the bugs away. Your images are always very inviting.
joanne D. says
I didn’t know that about the little garlic bulbils either so thanks for the education. Love garlic in food though, and love your shots especially number 2 with the closeup view of the garlic flower complete with bulbils.
mashed potatoes are my favorite comfort food – so even ‘too mild’ would have been about perfect for me. :)
My mouth is watering I love mashed potato real comfort food….
kim klassen says
my goodness…. such beautiful photos Barb….. the light is PERFECT… and YUM.
You have a wonderful way with colour.
Karen @ Pieces of Contentment says
Very interesting Barb. I have some sprouting cloves of garlic on my windowsill, planning to plant them out soon. I’ve never grown garlic so I will be very keen to see how the flower develops. I presume you don’t have to peel the bulbils?
Denise Powers Fabian says
Lovely photos of your find!
I am hoping to plant garlic this fall and so I found this interesting. The mashed potatoes look delicious! Have you read Liz Primeau’s book ( In Pursuit of Garlic) on the subject of garlic?
cathy @ ma vie trouvee says
What an interesting post – I love garlic. And I love the soft colors of your images. Now I want garlic mashed potatoes!
Learned something new today ~ from you. I need to use fresh garlic more often than I do. I use the garlic salt on most everything. Great pictures and explanation.