What’s a fresh garlic???
Anyone who has been to the shuk in Jerusalem (or pretty much any vegetable market in Israel) can’t help but notice that it’s fresh garlic season. North Americans, used to the bleached, chemical filled Chinese garlic that makes up 77% of the world’s garlic supply, are often confused with this real garlic and don’t know what to make of it. Israelis seem to be scrambling to buy it up and you just cannot argue with that gorgeous smell. Luckily, CafÃ© Liz, a blogger based in Tel Aviv comes to the rescue with handy info, tips and recipes about this crazy fresh garlic stuff.
Garlic is not supposed to be clean and white, people. When it’s fresh it’s covered in a lovely purple peel, which dries to an earthy brown… So we flock to the shook for the crates and crates of baladi garlic â€” the Arabic adjective slapped on anything that’s local, loved and maybe even unique to the region. We look for the largest bulbs, since they shrink as they dry. Vendors hang fat, unelegant braids outside their stands â€” nothing like the tidy, compact plaits you’ll find in Italy, for instance.
She offers a recipe for pickled garlic: “If you’ve ever had the desire to eat an entire head of garlic in one sitting, this is the way to go.” But what about the huge stalks? It seems like most people throw those out but Liz also offers, in another post, a recipe for Garlic greens paste with romano and walnuts, Yum! Perfect on pasta, bread, whatever.
Thanks Liz! Thanks Jessica for being a good sport and posing for these pics. To hell with Chinese garlic!