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Silverskin Garlic Group
Late Season | Long Storage | 10-30 cloves
The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds
Silverskin is a popular softneck, late-season (normally the last to mature) garlic. It can be grown in a good range of climates and is considered to be the longest storing garlic (along with the creole type). It grows best in a mild to cool winter climate.
This garlic group produces the most cloves per bulb of any garlic and is the easiest to plait due to it's long, thin, and sturdy leaves that are highly pliable. Silverskin is often the favoured commercial crop because of the high number of cloves per bulb, having no scape to remove and having a long storage life.
The garlic is a non-bolting type meaning it does not send up a flower stalk known as a scape unless placed under stress. The stalk can be weak and may lie over near harvesting time. The bulbs have multiple layers of cloves. Clove skins are tight and thin which make peeling more challenging.
Silverskin's when eaten raw typically have a very garlicky hot, spicy and sometimes aggressively sulfurous taste lacking complexity. The sulfurous taste can be minimised when cooking by ensuring it is sauteed to a straw or deep tan colour, while roasted is a strong, earthy and deep flavour.
Clove & Bulb Appearance
The silverskin bulb is normally a flattened globe shape, it generally has a white or off white bulb wrapper (skin) and contains between 10-30 cloves - the most of any garlic group. The bulbs are generally smaller than other softneck artichoke group. Silverskins normally have multiple layers of cloves.
Often there are at least ten plantable cloves in a bulb, with the rest quite small and not as suitable for planting stock. The clove skin is often a glossy white or a light pink.
The inner cloves are tall, concave in the centre, slender and small. The outer cloves are large, wide, flat and tallish and have rounded corners with a graceful curvature like a teardrop or petal shape. The large, wide, scalloped cloves tend to cup the next clove layer in the bulb. Bulbs typically store in ideal conditions for 12+ months, one of the longest storing of any garlic type.
This softneck garlic generally does not send out a scape (flower stalk) unless it is stressed. If it does scape, it often looks like an upside down 'U' shape and produces bulbils. The bulbils are large and pink to light purple in colour.
Leaves & Scapes
Unlike many other garlics the silverskin leaf grows nearly vertical . The leaf is very thin compared to other garlic groups and they shoot to the sky rather than flop. The leaf colour is a deep blue-green. This softneck garlic does not send out a scape (flower stalk) unless it is stressed, particularly by chilly spring weather.
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