Hardneck Garlic

As a garlic-loving chef, I have become so obsessed with the hardneck variety that I’ve started growing my own. Hardneck garlic is the kind most commonly found in farmers’ markets; unlike commercially grown softneck garlic, it’s distinguished by its stiff ‘neck,’ or stalk. Hardnecks have fewer cloves than softnecks, but the cloves are larger, juicier, and more uniform. They come in lots of different breeds (tan-skinned rocambole and bright white porcelain are my favorites) and their flavors are incredible—spicy, sweet, smooth, nutty, and elegant all at once. I enjoy hardneck garlic in raw preparations, like pesto, and the shape of its cloves makes them great for roasting or thinly slicing to toss over a pizza. —Michael Ayoub, Fornino, New York City

Further Reading
Local Heroes [Saveur]
Hardneck Garlic Confit [NY Mag]
Buying Garlic While the Price Is Right [Epicurious]