The very first garlic crop of the season is known as "wet" garlic because it has not been hung up to dry. It has to be picked by hand; a very lengthy process. During its short season it is very much sought after by gourmets in France, and increasingly in England.
The huge juicy cloves give wet garlic a particularly creamy flavour, and the texture is quite different from that of dried garlic. The internal skins have not formed so the whole head can be chopped and used as a seasoning. The heads can also be roasted whole and the creamy cooked garlic is delicious spread on toast or mixed with butter and used on vegetables or in baked potatoes. The flavour is strong, but smooth and not at all bitter.
While the stalks are fresh and green they can be cooked like leeks or finely sliced and used to make soup, omelettes or garnish salads.
This garlic can be used in all the same ways as dry garlic, and you can hang it up to dry in your kitchen, where it will last for up to nine months. The stalks will shrink as they dry out so the wire will need to be tightened so that the heads do not fall down.
The main dried and tressed crop will be available from mid June.