Purple Stripe Garlic, Shvelisi

Purple Stripe Garlic, Shvelisi

Shvelisi originates from
the village of Shvelisi in the
southern Republic of Georgia.
A deservedly popular cultivar, it
is commonly also referred to as
“Chesnok Red”.
Shvelisi is perhaps the best
garlic for baking and frying.
Unlike its Rocambole cousin
Russian Red (which tends to
remain crisp when baked or
fried), Shvelisi (or Chesnok
Red) will melt and caramelize
like no other garlic. Bake
intact for one hour until the
cloves soften inside. It’s loose
wrappers will then allow you
to squeeze the cloves right
out. Spread onto breads or use
in dips and sauces. Shvelisi’s
f lavours and depth of character
also really shine when it is
chopped and sautéed to a straw
colour or light tan.

The Purple Stripe Family
Genetically closest to the origins of the species, Purple Stripes are the
ancestors and antecedents of all other garlic cultivars, and the Fort
Collins study (Volk et al. 2004) showed that they are the basal group for
all garlic. Some Purple Stripes, with assistance, remain capable of sexual
reproduction and the production of seed (a trait long lost to all other
garlic families). Not surprisingly, they also exhibit the greatest genetic
diversity.
Purple Stripes would be inherently special even if their primal origins
were their only notable feature. However, they are also splendid culinary
garlics. In general, the taste of Purple Stripes is strong, complex, and
richly garlicky, without being overly sulfurous. They do not have the
sweetness of Rocamboles, but some of the best may be even more
characterful. Many regard Purple Stripes as the tastiest and best garlics
for roasting.
Purple Stripes store longer than Rocamboles, but not as long as Porcelain
garlics. They are named for the vivid purple colouration and striping on
the bulb wrappers and clove skins.