This is one of the most evocative smells in the world. It almost provides more pleasure than when eaten. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but it’s pretty darn close.
This is garlic harvested before it gets dried into the head and cloves we are all used to seeing. A white head with purple streaks and greening stem, it is unfamiliar territory when you put a knife through it: no cloves wrapped up in paper, just a series of soft interlocking layers.
And while it’s the smell that lures you in and will have you pining off-season, it’s something that can accompany most things. The flavour is still strong, but there’s no bitterness, so you can stir it in finely chopped slices to a soup, stew or salad. Making the miraculous gremolata (lemon zest, parsley, garlic) with the wet stuff you can add an even subtler version, which will lift almost anything. And a gentle roast provides an even sweeter and more delectable result. It’s almost strange we don’t see more of it.
The season is famously short, so don’t miss out. Get it while it’s ….wet.