Know your Aussie garlic!

Farmers' MarketMost Australian garlics belong to one of six garlic groups. Each group has its own flavour characteristics when raw, sautéed or roasted and varying heat and flavour intensity.

In Australia there is huge confusion around garlic names. So if you can determine what group a garlic belongs to, you will at least have an idea of where it will grow and when to plant and harvest, how long it will store, and what the flavour will be probably be like. This cultivar will share these characteristics with the other cultivars in that group. (Most types of garlic have arisen through cultivation by humans, so technically they are cultivars rather than varieties.)

Garlic Groups

There are eleven garlic groups recognised around the world, however, most Australian garlics belong to one of six garlic groups. Each group has its own flavour characteristics when raw, sauted or roasted and varying heat and flavour intensity. Detailed information on the six groups via the Australian Garlic Industry Association.

Garlic Groups

6 Australian Garlic Groups


Harvest: EARLY/MID

Storage: 6-8 MONTHS

Raw – Work horse of Australian garlic with simple, direct, vegetative flavours, mild to hot. The best are more complex with longer lasting developing flavours.

Sauted – When sauted till crisp has delicious mild garlic flavour.

Roasted – Mild, sweet earthy flavour, holds well.


Harvest: LATE

Storage: 12+ MONTHS

Raw – Some hot, aggressive, and lacking in complexity. The best are spicy with sweet overtones, persistently hot at the back of the mouth and very garlicky.

Sauted – When sauted till crisp has delicious strong garlicky flavour, less heat than when raw.

Roasted – Strong, good depth of flavour, slightly earthy. Holds flavour well.



Storage: 12+ MONTHS

Raw – Produces a range of flavours from little flavour with excessive heat, to strong rich complex flavours with or without heat. Rich, complex, sweet true garlic flavour. Long lasting. Contains cultivars with the hottest heat of all garlic.

Sauted – Beautiful garlic explosion often with nutty flavour. Doesn’t have to be crisp. Gentle sautr maintains heat, but becomes much nuttier when crisp.

Roasted – Lovely mellow, caramel flavours but looses heat.


Harvest: EARLY

Storage: 4-5 MONTHS

Raw – Work horse hardneck Australian garlic with simple, crisp savoury flavours, initial mild to hot, heat fades quickly. The best are very strong, rich sometimes fruity garlic flavour.

Sauted – Versatile saute from gentle cooking but best when crisply tanned providing a lovely nutty flavour.

Roasted – Very good roasted, sweet nutty and often with caramelised flavours.



Storage: 4-5 MONTHS

Raw – Deep, rich sweet flavour, smooth heat to start but fades gently. Complex, described as floral, earthy, creamy, flavour bomb.

Sauted – Best gentle sauted, don’t crisp. Maintains complex flavours.

Roasted – Rich sweetness but loses complexity.

Purple Stripe

Harvest: LATE

Storage: 6-8 MONTHS

Raw – Complex flavours often with, peppery hot overtones that combines well with chilli and spices. Better cooked. Flavour improves with age.

Sauted – Good for sauting. Flavours and depth of character increase especially nuttiness.

Roasted – One of the best for roasting. Creamy nutty, complex garlicky flavours develop.


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Information provided by the Australian Garlic Industry Association