An essential element in cuisines around the world, garlic enjoys near mythic status among cooks, chefs, foodies, and enthusiasts of natural remedies. Worldwide, garlic cultivation occupies over 2 million acres of farmland, an area that has more than doubled since 1970. Yet even garlic fanciers may be unable to tell hardneck from softneck, or Purple Stripe from Rocambole, not to mention the hundreds of cultivated varieties grown today, many with distinct differences in taste and character. In fact, the wealth of garlic varieties in nearly a dozen horticultural groups rivals that of corn, carrots, apples, and peaches. The Complete Book of Garlic is the most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to what surely should be the next gourmet frontier.
From 'Ajo Rojo' to 'Zemo', Meredith presents illustrated profiles of nearly 150 cultivars. Detailed chapters cover natural history, the history of garlic in cultivation, the nuances of cuisine and culture, therapeutic benefits, plant structure, how to cultivate, curing and storage, taxonomy, pests and diseases, and chemistry. Especially useful are the Quick Guides, which summarize information on growing and buying garlic and provide recommendations for the best-tasting cultivars for specific uses and climates. Lists of garlic sources and organizations are a boon to the aficionado. Whether you share Ted Jordan Meredith's 'garlic affliction' or just find the pungent bulb indispensable, you'll understand it as never before with this meticulously researched, lovingly written exploration.
Ted Jordan Meredith has written books on viticulture, enology, wine appreciation, garlic, and bamboo. His Bamboo for Gardens (Timber Press 2001) was awarded the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Literature Award and The New York Times Editor's Choice for Best Books for Gardening, and his The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks (Timber Press 2008) has become the standard reference for garlic enthusiasts. When a housing development suddenly took away his privacy, Ted became interested in bamboo as a beautiful, rapidly growing, evergreen screen. He quickly became captivated by bamboo in all of its aspects and began to grow, research, and write about bamboo. A native of Montana, Ted recalls the daring use of fresh garlic in the family kitchen. In later years, as his interest in cooking grew, Ted enthusiastically incorporated garlic into much of his cuisine but initially regarded garlic as a supermarket commodity with little distinction. It was at a farmer's market that he purchased a few heads of a Rocambole garlic, 'Spanish Roja'. Ted realized then that all garlic was not the same, and he never looked back, voraciously exploring a new-found world of hundreds of cultivars in nearly a dozen different horticultural groups. Ted and his wife garden and grow bamboo at their home in Washington state. In addition to writing and photography, Ted enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and music.
"Admirably expands our view of the world of garlic. It answers many of the mysteries about garlic, provides invaluable practical advice, and certainly celebrates its diversity."
– Joan Edwards, Gastronomica
"A comprehensive guide to the vegetable, including its history, cultivation, and cultural use."
– La Cucina Italiana
"A beautifully photographed and illustrated, coffee-table worthy, book for gardeners and those who love to cook and eat garlic. Grow your own!"
– Molly Day, Muskogee Phoenix
"Few books qualify as coffee table books, and botanical manuscripts, and cultural guides, and cooking guides. The Complete Book of Garlic does all these, and more."
– Maine Organic Farmer and Observer
"Imagine my delight when I received a copy of [...] this very informative book. [...] Meredith goes into depth about the many varieties available [...] and the photographs illuminate just how beautiful garlic can be. If I ever grow my own garlic, this is the book I'll use as a reference."
– Esther Sung, Epicurious.com
"The aroma of garlic nearly wafts from the pages of this delectable book. [...] Where this book breaks ground is in the idea of growing garlic ornamentally as well as in its precise information on how to harvest and store this most pungent of bulbs [...] and the photos are stunning."
– Valerie Easton, Seattle Times
"Verve and thoroughness are evident in this outstanding work. Highly recommended."
– Bonnie Poquette, Library Journal
"Meredith asserts that if your only experience with garlic is the mediocre grocery store variety, you have been missing out."
– Viveka Neveln, American Gardener
"The most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to what surely should be the next gourmet frontier."
– Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes
"No ordinary book on garlic. It is a literary masterpiece, a reference book, a grower's bible, a summary of garlic research explained in layman's terms, and one that is a 'must' for any garlic lover's library."
– Paul Pospisil, The Garlic News