Garlic is a popular harvest treat at Vermont farmers markets and road-side farm stands this month. For most of us, it’s all good garlic. For the discerning connoisseur, each part of the state produces subtly different regional garlic flavors.
In Europe, some of these types of unique flavors are protected. Like champagne, that only comes from the Champagne Region of northeastern France, produce can carry regional specificity called Protected Geographical Status. Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago cheese, Camembert de Normandie are good examples of foods that can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region. Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) are also designations of this kind of protection.
There are a number of Garlics with Protected Geographical Status in Europe; these include:
- Aglio Bianco Polesano from Veneto, Italy
- Aglio di Voghiera from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
- Ail blanc de Lomagne from Lomagne in the Gascony area of France
- Ail de la Drôme from Drôme in France
- Ail rose de Lautrec a rose/pink garlic from Lautrec in France
- Ajo Morado de Las Pedroñeras a rose/pink garlic from Las Pedroñeras in Spain
At Green Mountain Garlic, we grow 11 varieties of hardneck garlic and 5 softnecks. While none of our varieties has Protected Geographical Status, each is unique in flavor, character and hardiness. Learn more about their distinctions here.
Whether or not you can taste the difference between garlic grown in Central Vermont and garlic grown in other parts of the country, keep in mind that organic is great and local is best.
image credit: traumwerk.stanford.edu