Synopses & Reviews
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. This book 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.
About the Author
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.