You might have heard of garlic scapes, seen them called for in a recipe or come across them at the farmer's market.  But what are they?  How do you use them?  And what do they taste like?

Garlic scapes come from garlic.  There are two types of garlic but only one produces a garlic scape - hardneck garlic.  

The garlic scapes are the long, green stem of a hardneck garlic bulb.  The softneck variety does not produce a garlic scape but it offers more garlic in the bulb.

Because of the cooler climate, you are likely to find hardneck garlic grown in Canada while softneck garlic was developed to be grown in warmer climates.  

Where to Find Garlic Scapes

Not commonly sold in the chain grocery stores, you can find garlic scapes at your local farmers market in late Spring/early Summer.  Garlic scapes are harvested first and they must be harvested or else the bulb will be flavourless and small.  The garlic bulbs are harvested later in the summer.  Garlic scapes should be stored in your crisper while garlic bulbs should be kept in a garlic keeper for optimal freshness.  Sandra Zuidema of aSpire pottery makes a gorgeous pottery garlic keeper with an intricate design of garlic scapes.  Ceramic garlic keepers offer a dark, dry place with air circulation to keep your garlic fresh.


Jane Snider Pottery

Aspire Pottery

Jane Snider Pottery

What Do Garlic Scapes Taste Like

Similar in texture to asparagus, garlic scapes taste like garlic!  They offer a slightly more mild garlic flavour and a hint of "green".  They can be used in any recipe in place of garlic cloves or scallions; can be eaten raw or cooked (although you might find them to be tough when eaten raw) and will last you two weeks in your crisper.

How to Use Garlic Scapes

You can basically do anything with garlic scapes!  You can eat them raw, pickle them or turn them into a pesto sauce.  Visit this blog from a Canadian farm to learn 7 ways to eat garlic scapes.

August 17, 2021 — Rhiane Heslop