French Rocambole
Umbels, clove, and bulbs

ORGANIC ONLY

French Rocambole

Rocambole
Allium Sativum Ophioscorodon

Personality profile: Somewhere in this cultivar's mysterious past, French Rocambole must have bred with a cow, a dairy cow. "Ce n'est pas possible!" you say? "Mais oui!" It's the only explanation for this garlic tasting as though butter is part of its very genes. Maybe it's a plot by that giant gene modifying company (what's their name again?) to insinuate itself into the garlic kingdom since garlic doesn't produce true seed.

 
Cloves: Averages 8-10 cloves and, like any Rocambole, you can expect some doubles and triples in there. Skins peel with exceptional ease and are light brown in color.

Bulbils: Anywhere from 5 to 25 largish bulbils. All but the smallest will produce fully cloves, though small, bulbs in the very first year. We find that the cloves of "1 year olds" have much tighter clove wrappers and thus will store longer than mature bulbs.

Growing: This being a new cultivar for us, our experience is limited to second hand accounts. Avoid "wet-feet" and choose a sunny spot to plant. Broad leaves and tightly curling double looped scapes. Scape removal before stiffening does help to increase bulb size although we've grown Rocamboles to a very large size even with scapes on until havest.

Harvest: Early to mid-season harvest. Since the wrappers of Rocamboles are so loose and thin you need to watch out for deteriorating bulb wrappers in the ground. The more wrappers the better, so harvest as soon as you're comfortable with bulb size (maybe after just one or two leaves are brown).

Storage: I'm going to differ with the status quo a little here. Yes, Rocamboles are among the shortest storing garlics, usually thought to store 4-5 months . However, German Red in our basement store room (kept at about 60% humidity and about 10 degrees C), stayed fresh until April 1st this year. So, in the proper storage conditions Rocamboles can keep as long as 8 months.

Pedigree: French Rocambole came to us via Boundary Garlic, who obtained it from Al Pickets of Eureka Garlic on Prince Edward Island.