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Chinese Garlic
For a very long time I thought these were a type of shallot - well, they have everything like that going for them by the look of it.

Then by chance one day I was in the kitchen when my wife was preparing our meal, and I watched her take one of these and simply smash it with a Chinese chopper.

The result: seriously wronky garlic ... and no messing about with wafer thin bits of husk. These things are 'Magic!' In Cantonese they are called 'sum tao', meaning 'smaller head'.

Whilst I have used modern garlic techniques in the past, and despite Jamie Oliver's smash a wardrobe (Staffordian name for a whole traditional garlic), the fact is that unless you are simmering away for a couple of days, you will taste and feel the garlic husks. Therefore I always properly peel mine.

That was until I discovered these gems!

They are also pretty pungent, so great for cooking with: simply smash them and the innards' are ready to throw in the pan. Pukka!
Image: Chinese Garlic - Click to Enlarge
Image: Chinese Garlic, smashing! - Click to Enlarge
Of course, sometimes you want to cook with whole cloves, but if this is not required, then I only ever use these things nowadays.
Of course China also has regular garlic, pictured right.

Recipes

Well, garlic is used in virtually all of my cooking, so for something completely different ... add one or two of these to a kebab skewer, BBQ and enjoy!
Image: Garlic varieties - Click to Enlarge

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