Browse through our glorious collection of garlic recipes, including Paul Heathcote's carrots with tarragon and garlic, and Shaun Hill's monkfish with tomato, ginger and garlic.
It's said there are over 600 cultivated sub-varieties of garlic in the world, although most of them may be selections of only a handful of basic types that have been grown widely. As local growing conditions change, the varieties have developed their own characteristics over the centuries.
The taste of any given garlic changes almost continually. If you want it at its mildest use it very soon after it's pulled from the ground. The flavour and intensity of the bulbs can vary each year depending on the growing conditions. Bad weather can make normally mild varieties hot and usually hot garlics become mild - but the following year they return to normal.
If you are keen on foraging, why not try wild garlic? Although it's not generally available in the shops, if you can't find it locally you can buy it online. It has long green leaves and a distinctive garlicky smell. Used here in spinach soup with wild garlic toasts, it also tastes good raw as a garnish or in salads.