Excellent for Roasting – Very impressive. Great for cooking and very healthy! Each bulb is approximately 5-6 inches across. Elephant Garlic is not a true garlic, but actually a variant of the species to which the garden leek belongs. It has a tall, solid, flowering stalk and broad, flat leaves much like those of the leek, but forms a bulb consisting of very large, garlic-like cloves. The bulbs are very large and can weigh over a pound. A single clove of elephant garlic can be as large as a whole bulb of ordinary garlic. The flavor of these, while not exactly like garlic, is much more similar to garlic than to leeks. The flavor is milder than garlic, and much more palatable to some people than garlic when used raw as in salads.
When cooking with elephant garlic, remember that it is not a substitute for ordinary garlic. Instead it is used where a subtle hint of garlic is wanted without overpowering the rest of the food. Elephant garlic is often served raw in salads or sliced and sauteed in butter (be careful, it browns very quickly and can turn bitter). It’s also frequently used to give a hint of flavor to soups. Garlic also contains chemical compounds that reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and that help lower blood pressure!
The mature bulb is broken up into cloves which are quite large and with papery skins and these are used for both culinary purposes and propagation. There are also much smaller cloves with a hard shell that occur on the outside of the bulb. These are often ignored, but if they are planted, they will the first year produce a non-flowering plant which has a solid bulb, essentially a single large clove. In their second year, this single clove will break up into many separate cloves. Some people use the young unopened flowering heads as a vegetable. The plant, if left alone, will spread into a clump with many flowering heads. These are often left in flower gardens as an ornamental and to discourage pests.