Is there a Difference between Purple garlic and White Garlic?

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Garlic has been cultivated for more than thousand years. Garlic or Allivum sativum is well known for its medicinal as well as culinary attributes. It is a member of the onion family. There are over 600 different varieties of garlic cultivated throughout the world. However, the garlic family is broadly classified as Hardneck garlic (Ophioscorodon) and Softneck garlic (Sativum). Hardneck garlic is also known as purple garlic. It renders slight sweetness to the dish. This variety has a rich, full-bodied taste. It can be ideally stored for up to 6 months. Purple garlic is widely grown in most parts of USA. However, the purple garlic varieties grown in West Central Texas are more resistant to seasonal damage.



What is Purple Garlic?

Purple garlic has even-sized cloves surrounded with a thick and stiff 'neck' with purple stripes. Usually, the number of cloves varies from 4 to 12. Some varieties of purple garlic are found to be heavily blotched. Presence of large quantity of organic pigment "anthocyanidin" is responsible for the "purple coloration". Purple garlic keeps for about 6-8 months. Interestingly, most of the purple garlic varieties have originated from erstwhile Soviet Union. Purple garlic is often used for confectionary recipes and butter brickle ice-creams. In Spain, purple garlic is used for flavoring breads, pasta, pizzas, main dishes, soups and side dishes. Purple garlic roasted potatoes with rosemary is popular among wine lovers across the world. It is also used in flavoring vanilla ice creams.



What are the different types of Purple Garlic?

Purple garlic is available in many varieties. Well-known species are:

  • Purple Stripe: This kind of purple garlic plant grows up to 5 feet. The bulbils are too many in number with a mild purple tinge. They are usually very difficult to peel. Purple stripe plants easily survive cold climates. The bulb bears 8 to 12 cloves. Usually, one pound of garlic can provide 60 cloves. In this variety, double cloves are very rare. They are also known as "Persian Star" and "Chesnok Red".
  • Glazed Purple Stripe: This is another popular variety of purple garlic. They are characterized by cloves which have an intense purple coloration. The number of cloves per bulb is few. Some of the common names of glazed purple stripes are "Red Rezan" and "Purple Glazer".
  • Marbled Purple Stripe: The bulbs of this category of purple garlic closely resemble a variety known as "Rocamboles". One pound of Marbled Purple Stripe garlic can supply around 50 cloves. These plants are very resistant to cold climates. Marbled purple garlic is known as Brown Tempest and Krasnodar Red.




What is the difference between White Garlic and Purple Garlic?

White garlic is widely available, whereas, purple garlic is less prevalent. Softneck garlic is always white in color, much easier to grow and are hardier compared to hardneck garlic. These white species are more conducive to travel and shipping. White garlic tends to have a very powerful flavor and scent. Often, white garlic has more cloves than purple garlic. Hardneck garlic has a milder taste and odor. Purple Garlic cannot be stored for long periods like white garlic. However, hardneck garlic retains their sweet aroma even after cooking. Generally, purple garlic has fewer cloves than white garlic.




What are the health benefits of Purple Garlic?

Purple Garlic is rich in powerful antioxidant resveratrol. This pigment gives a dark reddish-purple color to purple garlic. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners treat purple garlic as one of the best nutritional supplements.

  • Increase insulin secretion: Regular consumption of purple garlic helps in insulin synthesis and reduces the risk of type II diabetes.
  • Reduce cancer risk: Being rich in germanium and selenium, Purple garlic blocks the synthesis of nitrosamine (carcinogenic agent). Moreover, allicin in purple garlic inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Regular intake helps in the activation of macrophage phagocytosis and enhances the body's immune system to fight cancer.
  • Decrease LDL cholesterol levels: Purple garlic reduces bad lipids in the blood and prevents coronary heart diseases such as atherosclerosis.
  • Prevent pre-mature ageing: Fresh purple garlic is rich in antioxidants and keeps wrinkles at bay.
  • Anti-inflammatory effect: Allicin in purple garlic has anti-inflammatory property. It plays an active role in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, purple garlic prevents cryptosporidium infection in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Allyl sulfide is found to be highly effective in combating pathogens and harmful parasites living in the human body.




For additional information on Garlic, click on the links below:

Benefits of the Herbal Wonder Drug : Garlic

Sinus Congestion Remedies Without Antihistamines

Garlic help for Back & Cervical Pain

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