See, when you're a farmer people expect you to be the authority on the produce you grow, and that includes most prominently its taste and use. But a good palate isn't necessarily in the skill set for many farmers. At least, I know it's not for me. I like to eat vegetables with good stories--stories about where they were bred or how they were grown--and I like to cook them with ingredients with good stories too. I think I'm a decent home cook with somewhat high standards, but I'm still just a home cook. I'm not sure my sense of taste is always up to par.
Nonetheless, I know the questions will come. Next year, after I've mulched and fed and weeded and watered and harvested and cured and cleaned my lovely bulbs of garlic, I will be asked about the differences between them--the tastes and the uses--and I will have to come up with something intelligent to say. So tonight, I laid 'em all out there and I tasted.
First, I tasted a sliver of each one raw. I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to raw garlic, so mostly I just noted the ones that were the spiciest. (They were all spicy.)
Then I threw a clove of each, in numbered order, on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. I promptly forgot them there, as often happens when I cook, so after pulling out the carmelized (aka burned) cloves I put one more of each into the oven. This time I remember to take them out.
|two of each kind: one baked, one burned|