Do you love the pungent aroma and flavor of garlic in your food? Do you like growing garlic in your garden? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you need to know about one of the lesser-known but equally fascinating aspects of garlic - garlic bulbils. Garlic bulbils are tiny, little cousins of garlic bulbs that pack a punch of flavor and nutrition. In this blog post, we'll learn what garlic bulbils are, how they differ from garlic cloves and bulbs, how to grow them, and how to use them in your cooking.
Garlic bulbils are small, round clusters of garlic that grow on the garlic scape, also known as the flower stalk of the garlic plant. Garlic scapes are the long, curly stems that grow from the top of the garlic plant, and they develop bulbils after the flowers bloom. Unlike garlic cloves, which are the individual sections that make up the bulb of garlic, bulbils are much smaller and can vary in size from a grain of rice to a small pea. However, don't let their small size fool you - bulbils are potent, flavorful, and packed with nutrition.
One of the most significant differences between garlic bulbs and bulbils is that bulbils grow on the flower stalk, while garlic bulbs grow underground. Another important difference is that you can't plant garlic bulbils directly to grow a full garlic plant. Instead, you have to let them grow into small bulbs first before planting them to grow into full-sized garlic plants. This process can take a few years, but the wait is worth it as you get a vast array of garlic plants that are entirely genetically unique.
Growing garlic bulbils is relatively easy, and you don't need a dedicated garden space to do it. All you need is a sunny spot with good soil and a container, and you're good to go. When you harvest your garlic bulbs, leave a few scapes on the plant to develop into bulbils. Once they are mature and have started to dry out, you can harvest them and store them in a dry, cool place until the spring. This is when you plant them in pots or directly in your garden bed, following the standard garlic planting method.
Garlic bulbils are versatile in the kitchen, and you can use them in many of the same ways as garlic cloves. Because they are small, you can use them whole, chopped, or crushed, depending on your culinary preference. They are great for adding an extra layer of flavor to salads, soups, stews, and sauces. You can also roast them in the oven or grill them on skewers for a delicious garlic-y appetizer. If you're feeling adventurous, you can pickle them for a tangy, garlicky snack.
Garlic bulbils may be small, but they are a mighty addition to any garlic lover's repertoire. They are easy to grow, delicious to eat, and offer a unique culinary experience that you can't get from garlic cloves or bulbs. Whether you're a foodie or a gardener, we hope this blog post has inspired you to explore the world of garlic bulbils and all they have to offer. So next time you're in the garden or the kitchen, don't forget to give these tiny but mighty cousins of garlic the attention they deserve!