Silverskin garlics are softnecks that are often chosen for braids because of bulb symmetry and are the type most commonly found in grocery stores because of their exceptional storage life. As a group, they store the longest of any garlic (6 to 12 months) but have less flavour complexity. They can be hot, overly sulfurous and acrid. Some report that Silverskins taste best when they are minced and lightly sautéed .
Silverskins have more cloves than artichokes (18 to 24) and sometimes produce secondary cloves on the exterior of the bulb. Commonly, Silverskin bulb wrappers are fine, smooth and all white; however, subject to our growing conditions and soil composition, some of our Silverskins have a delicate mottled purple colouring.
Silverskins do their best in milder climates as they have a shorter dormancy requirement but they can be adapted to Canadian climates. In most warmer climates, Silverskins rarely form bulbils, however in our northern growing conditions our Silverskins take longer than hardnecks to acclimatize and often produce bulbils in the stalk.
They are the last garlic harvested and often fall over prior to harvest due to their weak necks and small plants.
While we will still be growing Silverskin garlics for culinary use and lovely kitchen braids, we are phasing them out of our seed garlic inventory in favour of varieties that perform more consistently in our Zone 2b climate.