Here is some great information about some of the different garlic varieties that are available at the New Boise Farmer’s Market. There are many, many varieties. This is but a small sampling that is available here in Boise. Enjoy!
Note: All of these garlic types are available at the New Boise Farmer’s Market, 10th and Grove. The following information was produced by Glenn’s Farm.
“Hardneck and Softneck garlic are described as some are mild and others are Hot. It is hard to describe the slight differences.”
This information is from organic gardening at about.com.
“Hardneck garlic varieties are generally hardier than softneck varieties. They are the best option for northern gardeners. They are also the best option if you want to enjoy garlic scapes in early summer, since hardnecks are the only type that send up a strong central stalk in spring (this is the scape.) Hardneck varieties tend to form fewer cloves per bulb than softneck varieties, but they also are usually a bit larger.
Within the hardneck family, there are nine sub-types of garlics: Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe, Asiatic, Glazed Purple Stripe, Creole, Middle Eastern, Turban, Rocambole, and Porcelain. The Purple Stripe and Rocambole types are the hardiest, best for gardeners who live in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Gardeners who live in mild climates will have good luck with Porcelain varieties.
Softneck Garlic Varieties (Allium sativum var.sativum)
Softneck garlic varieties are the best ones to grow if you live in a milder climate. They don’t form scapes, and generally form several small cloves per head. They mature quicker than hardneck varieties. Softneck varieties tend to store better than hardneck varieties, so this is the type to grow for long-term storage. Sub-types within the softneck family include Silverskin and Artichoke varieties.”
Chinese Pink: The first garlic of the season. Mellow with a pleasing after taste.
Asian Tempest: Asian hardneck. When eaten raw it is breath taking. When baked, the flavor is sweet.
Chesnok Red: Hardneck. All around good for cooking. Full bodied flavor with a delightful aroma. When baked, it holds it’s shape and has a creamy texture.
German Red: (One of my favorites) Hardneck rocambole. Strong, hot and spicy.
German Porcelain: Hardneck. Good, all purpose garlic.
Zemo: Hardneck. Smooth and hot flavor and aftertaste.
Northern: Hardneck. A very pungent and one of the best for baking.
Music: Hardneck. Medium hot with flavor that lasts a long time.
Romaine Red: Porcelain hardneck. Hot with a long lasting bite.
Georgia Crystal: A hot garlic.
Metechi: Very hot when eaten raw.
Siberian: (Another of my favorites) Hardneck with a medium-strong heat. Rich earthy taste. Has a high allicin content. Allicin supports normal cholesterol levels and helps boost the immune system.
Spanish Rojo: Hardneck Rocambole. Rich flavor. Also called Greek Garlic or True Garlic.
Polish Jenn: A medium strength garlic.
Italian: (Another favorite of mine.) Softneck with a great taste and a good cooking garlic. Great to roast.
Silverskin: Softneck with a strong flavor and another great cooking garlic.
Inchillium Red: Softneck garlic with a mild flavor. Great baked and the blended with mashed potatoes.
I hope this clears up some of the mystery of garlic. Or does it just add to the question? Cheers.