Chatelaine Kitchen

Trend alert: Clove-less garlic!

The 'solo' variety is the next wave in garlic. Milder in flavour and easy to peel, we love this new grocery discovery.
By Carolyn Lim Chua
Garlic bulb.jpg Masterfile

In my neighbourhood I can shop at the Korean or Middle Eastern grocery once a week before hitting the local Food Basics. These food excursions keep me posted on what’s going on in the world of global flavours. Recently, I bought perfect small garlic bulbs in a basket from the Asian superstore, T&T.

I peeled one for a stir-fry and ended up with one big naked whole garlic — with no cloves. I thought it was a fluke and peeled another, and then another. All three had no cloves!

It turns out that this ‘solo’ garlic isn’t a result of genetic engineering but is a variant of elephant garlic. It's milder than regular garlic, and I love that I only had to peel it once and not ten times for a whole bulb. As a big garlic lover, this will literally save me weeks of manpower!

The solo bulb took roughly the same time to roast as a regular bulb. The roasted flesh popped out whole from the skin, was tender and easy to mash into my potatoes.

I’ve since made garlic chips, aioli and Chatelaine’s chicken with roasted garlic — which usually requires 40 cloves of garlic.

Clove-less garlic Clove-less garlic bulb

And the even better news? Last week I saw my new friend, the solo garlic, in a basket at my local Food Basics, so it's catching on. Watch for it!


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