I learned something new about the food world while I was visiting my mom in gorgeous Aurora, New York. This may surprise you, knowing as you do, my culinary prowess. (Oh wait, that's someone else you know.) Admittedly, I'm not much of a cook. But, that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate good eats. I do. I love good food, and consider myself fairly well-schooled in eating. But I did not know what the peeps were talking about when they said that the pretty appetizer typically would have been garnished with scapes.
Scapes? What the?
Do you guys know what scapes are? If you do, look away, because I'm going to explain it for the rest of the ignorant folks, like my former self.
For me the hardest part about this exciting, new culinary discovery is remembering its name. I want to call them skypes and snopes (perhaps, just maybe, I spend too much time in front of a computer?). But they are not skypes, or snopes, or scopes, they're scapes.
Scapes are the seed that hardneck garlic grows for future propagation. The scape emerges from the garlic bulb, and is "more rigid than the other leaf growth." Scapes are harvested in June to increase the size of the blub and so that "nutrients go to the bulb instead of the seeds." But, low and behold, these scapes can be eaten and are furthermore a delicacy!
You can dice them up, kinda like scallions, and sprinkle them on almost anything. Unfortunately, scape season is over. You missed it. But here's where you can go next June to get your fix: Lakeview Garlic, LLC. And if you wait just a week or two you can order organic hardneck garlic by the pound from these guys as well.
We all know that garlic is good for us, right? And so tasty. But I did not know until this summer that there are two varieties of garlic, hardneck and softneck, and that I'd almost always been eating softneck garlic (grown as it is in California). But this hardneck garlic grows in colder climates, and supposedly has a more robust flavor. At least that's what Corrine and Andy say. And I believe them.
These two grew their personal garlic planting activities into a small business, Lakeview Garlic, and in the fall of 2010 successfully planted 5,000 sets of garlic. You can watch Corrine in action here.
And you'll definitely want to check out their garlic scape pesto, and other, recipes too.
Scape me away!