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Sonoran garlic bulbs are covered in white or beige wrappers, with six to ten cloves per bulb. The bulbs of the Sonoran garlic are large with fat, distinctly purple variegated cloves. Typically the cloves are arranged in a single layer surrounding a central scape. Sonoran garlic is mild, with a true garlic flavor. The flavor offers an immediate pungency, followed by a smooth and mild aftertaste. Cooking Sonoran garlic will mellow out the garlic flavor and heat even more.
Sonoran garlic is available in the late spring through the early summer months.
Sonoran garlic is botanically known as part of Allium sativum. Falling under the sub-group of turban garlic Sonoran is a weakly bolting hardneck type that has some softneck characteristics. Turban type garlics such as Sonoran are named as such as a result of the flattened, turban like shape of their umbel capsule. They are known as an early to sprout cultivator and are one of the first garlics of the season to be available at the market.
Garlic has been used for health benefits for centuries. The sulfur compound responsible for the distinct flavor and smell as well as for many of garlics nutritional properties is allicin. Allicin is created when garlic is crushed, smashed or finely chopped and alliinase and alliin combine. Allicin has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties and it naturally builds the immune system. It is also being studied for its ability to support healthy cardiovascular function.
Sonoran garlic can be used in a variety of applications both raw and cooked. As with all garlic, chopping, slicing, pressing and juicing releases the oils and flavor within the cloves. It can be roasted whole, or sliced, minced or pressed and used cooked or raw. Sonoran garlic does not have an overwhelming flavor and will shine in raw preparations such as bruschetta, salsa and compound butter. Its flavor pairs well with meats, fish, poultry, olive oil, pistachios and pine nuts, eggs, cream and butter based sauces, robust and mild cheeses, fresh herbs and a wide range of vegetables. Sonoran garlic will keep stored in a cool dry place for four to six months.
Sonoran garlic is popular in Sonoran cuisine and has been popularly used in Mexico locally in recipes such as totoaba frita (fried totoaba), k’ola k’yalk’osenne (roasted tomatillo salsa), santa maria pinquito bean salad, and carne adovada con chiles el guique. Formerly a cash crop for Mexico, local varieties such as Sonoran garlic have seen a decline in production in recent years in their place of origin, Sonora, Mexico. This decline is a result of an influx of Chinese varieties on the marketplace and Mexico's inability to compete with China in the garlic market place due to a lack of modernization in farming methods combined with degeneration of seed and increased production costs.
Sonoran garlic is named for its area of origin, the state of Sonora, Mexico. Sonoran garlic is known to grow well in Mexico and the warm American south, from eastern Texas to southwestern California. It can also be grown in cooler climates successfully as well. In warm climates Sonoran garlic can be ready significantly early for harvest and its bulb wrappers will begin to deteriorate if left in the ground for too long. In cooler more moderate climates harvesting time is not as early and bulbs can stand to stay in the ground a bit longer without bulb damage.
Recipes that include Sonoran Garlic. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Leite's Culinaria||Chile Garlic Sauce|