PORCELAIN garlic originates in the Caucasus Mountain range, which stretches between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, near the western edge of the Silk Road which was a primary distribution point. From there, garlic was taken south, into the Middle East, or northwest, into Europe. The plants are tall with broad leaves, the scapes form wider loops rather than coils. The bulbs have white wrappers with 4-7 very large tannish red cloves, producing 30-40 cloves per pound. They mature late, are quite pungent and will store 6-8 months. According to the Ft. Collins genetic fingerprinting study, most Porcelains tested are identical. These include well known varieties like Music, Georgian Crystal, Georgian Fire, German Porcelain, etc. Variety trials here in SW Oregon with a dozen or so varieties over successive seasons largely confirms those findings. Porcelains seem more susceptible to viral pressure than other types and varieties that have declined have been regularly discontinued and/or replaced. Fortunately, some of them are capable of sexual reproduction and new clones grown out from True Garlic Seed show greatly increased vigor. These seed grown cultivars will also usher in much needed diversity to this limited gene pool. Porcelains are $9 per ¼ lb; $16 per ½ lb; $24 per lb.
Hadrut plants are tall and vigorous, the tight bulbs typically Porcelain with 6-7 cloves. It is from the southern tip of the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh (“nagorno” or “nagorny” means mountainous), an unrecognized republic within the boundaries of Azerbaijan. A rise in Armenian nationalist sentiment in the late 1980s eventually led to conflict over this territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. While Nagorno-Karabakh was predominantly Armenian it had a sizable population of Azeris. What began as low level strife escalated into a war which cost tens of thousands of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Azerbaijanis. While the Armenian separatists won control over Nagorno-Karabakh as well as surrounding territory (expelling hundreds of thousands of Azeris in the process), the conflict remained frozen, unresolved and the threat of war, persisted. That is until September 2020 when full blown war resumed. In six weeks of fighting, thousands were killed and tens of thousands displaced. Azerbaijan, flush with oil wealth, with the full backing of Turkey, utilized Syrian mercenaries and high tech Israeli “suicide” drones, had the goal of retaking all of Karabakh. Indeed, it has prevailed militarily and retaken much of its previously lost territory, including Hadrut. The Armenians living there have in turn been expelled and time will tell if Azerbaijanis, displaced from the earlier war, are repatriated to lands devastated by war. This garlic came named “Armenian” but has been and continues to be grown by both ethnicities. In the Armenian language garlic is “skhtor”; and in Azeri, a Turkik language, it’s “sarimsaq”.
Krasnodar White: consistently productive year after year, the plant is taller than most other garlic cultivars; it’s peppery and sulfurous raw, nutty and starchy when roasted. The garlic was acquired by Carl Rosen in the city of Krasnodar which lies in the southwest of Russia near the Black Sea. Founded at the end of the 18th century as a military outpost for Russian expansion into the Caucasus, by the Kuban Cossacks who acted as imperial foot soldiers that carried out the mass ethnic cleansing of the region’s now former inhabitants: the Circassians. Also in the Krasnodar Province is the southern city of Sochi, better known as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and under which lie the mass graves of the Circassian people. The garlic has produced TGS and is the parent of several lines of progeny. 5 lb. limit
Arsia: ❧ This is the first generation progeny of Krasnodar White. It is named for the southernmost volcano in the equatorial Tharsis Mountain Range on Mars. Arsia Mons stands twelve miles high two hundred seventy miles in diameter. Sumptuously sulfurous, it expresses all the characteristics of a Porcelain garlic with white wrappers sheathing reddish, long cloves. Of the first generation progeny of Krasnodar White, this was the most stable and best keeping. It is also producer of true seed and one of its offspring is available.