Elephant garlic, also called giant or great-headed garlic, is not a true garlic, but a separate species of allium more closely related to the leek. Each bulb has an average of 5 cloves, and one clove can sometimes be as big as a small bulb of regular garlic!
While the large size makes elephant garlic appear more pungent, it is actually milder than regular garlic, contains more moisture and is better suited to recipes in which it is used as a vegetable rather than an herb. Year round supplies from California, Nevada, Oregon, Mexico and Argentina.
This edible novelty has a multitude of culinary uses: bake whole bulbs along with roast beef or poultry; sauté slices in butter for a side dish or sauté with vegetables to add a delicate flavor. Try fresh slices in salads, sandwiches and hamburgers. Chop and sprinkle on pizza, pasta, salads, or in scrambled eggs, dips, soups, sauces, etc., before or after cooking. Garlic slices can be batter dipped and deep fried for a garlic lover’s chip. Put peeled elephant cloves or slices on skewers and grill on the barbecue until tender.
- Very versatile for cooking – see “How to Use” section.
- Great for those consumers who prefer a mild garlic taste.
- Easy to peel because of large cloves.
- Its large size gives elephant garlic the distinction of being a unique food that can also be an eye catching addition to a display or gift basket.
- Keep elephant garlic cool and dry. Store like shallots and pearl onions in cold storage with plenty of air circulation; 32º to 38º is recommended at the warehouse level. Note: Humidity fosters mold and root plate growth. With proper storage, elephant garlic can stay fresh for several months.
- Fresh elephant garlic bulbs should have plump, firm cloves, and consumers should avoid garlic that is soft, spongy, shriveled or moldy. Consumers should store elephant garlic in a cold, dry, well ventilated place. Storing in the refrigerator is also an option, but do not store garlic in a plastic bag.
- Merchandise near other specialty items or regular garlic, onions and potatoes.
- Food demos can be instrumental in introducing consumers to the taste and versatility of elephant garlic, but if that is not an option, recipes including product information are recommended.