Creole Garlic Is The Rare Variety You May Not Have Heard Of

Garlic was once believed to have magical properties and was used to ward off evil spirits, as well as to provide strength and courage to warriors. In ancient Greece, athletes would eat garlic before competing in the Olympic games, and in medieval times, it was used as a remedy for the plague. That may have you scratching your head and wondering what people were thinking, but the truth is that garlic is still praised for its health benefits. Garlic is considered a superfood due to its high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It can help ward off everything from the common cold to high blood pressure, according to Healthline.

Garlic is generally classified into two main types — softneck and hardneck. Softneck garlic has a soft stem that is easy to braid and is commonly grown in warmer climates, while hardneck garlic has a hard stem and is more cold-tolerant. Within these two types, there are many different varieties. Some of the most popular include Rocambole, Porcelain, Elephant, Silverskin, and Artichoke. One of the most common of those is the Silverskin, but on the flip side of that is the rarest type of garlic — Creole garlic.

Creole garlic varieties

Creole garlic is of the Silverskin variety, meaning it belongs to the softneck family. It is a type of garlic that is native to Spain and was spread throughout the Caribbean islands during Spanish exploration. It is also grown in some parts of the United States, such as Louisiana. Creole garlic is known for its rich and bold flavor, as well as its large bulb size. This variety of garlic has several sub-types, and one of those produces purple cloves, so it is sometimes called "Mexican Purple" garlic. 

Other varieties of Creole garlic include Ajo Rojo, which has a bold and spicy flavor, burgundy, which is characterized by its deep red-purple color, and Louisiana Creole, known for its spicy, slightly sweet taste. Of these, Louisiana Creole is the most common in the U.S. and it is often used in Cajun and Creole dishes. These are not the only varieties of Creole garlic, though, and each one offers a unique flavor.

Creole garlic has unique traits

Aside from its larger-than-most bulb sizes and its very pronounced flavor, Creole garlic has some other unique traits. For one, all varieties of Creole garlic prefer a mild winter, and will even die if they get too cold, while other garlic types don't mind colder winter climates. Also, Creole garlic is typically grown from cloves instead of seeds, which sets it apart from other garlic varieties. The cloves are planted in the ground in the fall and harvested in the late spring or early summer. Then, the bulbs are cured for several weeks to allow them to dry and develop their distinct flavor.

If you are looking for a garlic variety that can add a robust, slightly spicy flavor to your dishes, Creole garlic is the one to try. While it may not be as common as other varieties, it can still be found in many grocery chains across the country. Another perk? It's one of the longest-lasting garlic varieties, so when you find Creole garlic, you can buy it in bulk and store it.