Music garlic was believed to have been brought to Canada from Italy during the 1980s. The porcelain-type garlic was named for Al Music, a tobacco farmer turned garlic grower who introduced the variety to Canada. Music garlic is well-adapted to the cooler temperatures of the Canadian south and American Pacific Northwest. It grows best in areas with cooler summer months and thrives in climates with cold winters. Music garlic can be spotted in grocery stores and at farmers markets.
Music garlic is a hardneck variety, identified by a stiff, woody stem running through the center of the bulb. Each bulb is tightly wrapped in layers of porcelain white, thin, papery skin and contains an average of 4 to 7 extra large cloves per bulb. Each clove is wrapped in a mauve, pink or brown-tinged skin, depending on the season.
Raw Music garlic is aromatic and offers a medium-hot, ‘true garlic’ flavour. Music garlic is used raw, in cooked applications, and can be cooked whole. Use Music garlic in any recipe calling for garlic. One large clove can be enough to flavor an entire dish. Roasting or baking the bulbs will bring out the natural sugars, creating a caramelized effect. Use the potent garlic for gamey meats and in vinaigrettes alongside mustard or vinegar. Infuse oil or vinegar with the large cloves. Music garlic are excellent for storing and will last up to 9 months in a cool, dry and well-ventilated space.
As a hardneck garlic, music garlic enjoys the cold weather when growing are very hardy garlic that grows well in most of Canada. Typically planted before the first frost of winter, music garlic can grow up to four feet tall, and yield thick bulbs that contain few but giant cloves that come easy to peel and dense with flavor. It is easy to grow although care should be taken when selecting the right garlic varieties to grow in your area.