Garlic Family Groups

Purple Stripe
Hardneck
Allium Sativum Ophioscorodon

In General

We begin with Purple Stripe because this is the most ancient of horticultural groups within the garlic family. Botanists have determined, through genetic testing, that Purple Stripes are the great grandparents of all other garlic and so we pay homage, as we do to all things which embody an "origin" of sorts. 

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Chesnok Red - Purple Stripe

Obviously, there's something which must have come before Purple Stripe, but this is the oldest known species that is recognizable as a true garlic... allium sativum (and in this case, because it is a hard-neck) ophioscorodon.

On the Tongue

Purple Stripes even taste ancient, meaning they reveal a wide and yet "unsophisticated" (we mean that in a good way... like innocent) array of characteristics when eaten. Ted Jordan Meredith writes, "the taste of Purple Stripes is strong, complex, and richly garlicky, without being overly sulfurous." Some find this group to be the best for roasting, producing a sweet and exciting sensation on the palate.

In the Field

As you can see from the photo above, Purple Stripes are... purple! They have a fair number of cloves per bulb; 8 to 12 being common. Because of this, the cloves are a good deal smaller than those of garlic from the Marbled Purple Stripe or Porcelain families, but they are typically uniform in size and well formed, meaning they break apart easily from neighboring cloves when "popping" the bulb. Skins are not difficult to peel but they are tight, which helps them to store well into the new year. Purple Stripes are strongly bolting and umbels are packed with many small bulbils (75-125), though not as small as most Porcelains. We've noticed that Purple Stripes tend to mature later in the season than many other varieties, pushing back the harvest date.

Cultivars We Typically Carry

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Chesnok Red

Not surprisingly, this is probably the most powerful garlic for use in herbal medicine due to its high allicin and alliinase contents (the compounds responsible for garlic's health benefits). Great for herbal remedies as well as baking (rich and sweet flavor), stews and raw. Medium heat.

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Tibetan

Hot on the tongue with a fresh, green roundness that transports one to the windswept plateaus of Tibet. Enduring, nutty flavors at the end. A fine cultivar to add to any collection.

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Persian Star

Provided by one of our grower/partners, Persian Star is a beautifully textured Purple Stripe with outstanding flavor characteristics. Heritage Variety.

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Rasa Rosa

Our flagship Purple Stripe. Grows beautiful pink bulbs and tastes even better than Tibetan. Very productive and flavorful.