simple food : society garlic

Society garlic – a herb or a weed? Regardless, it is edible and it adds a good kick of garlicky flavour to pasta, salads, quiches, frittatas and savoury muffins.

Hailing from South Africa and known among botanists as Tulbaghia violacea, this plant isn’t very common which surprises me because it’s incredibly hardy. Dare I say it; it’s impossible to kill. Indeed, green and brown thumbs alike will have success with it.

I’ve always planted it in pots but it grows just as well in the ground and makes for an ideal choice for walkways and edges. From experience, the more you pick it, the more it grows. The leaves are long, flat and deep green and a few times a year, delicate violet flowers bloom.

Society garlic is available at most nurseries. It’s a pretty and practical choice for the garden (and the kitchen).

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  • Say Little Hen
    Reply

    I've always wondered what Society Garlic is but it turns out I've had it growing in my garden all along – I know it as garlic chives 🙂 I love it, I've even used it when I ran out of garlic once in spaghetti bolognese (I just added the snipped up leaves at the end instead of the beginning as I do with actual garlic)
    The flowers are really yummy in salads and chickens love the leaves too 🙂

  • jandi
    Reply

    we call it wild garlic in South Africa…

  • Zena
    Reply

    I'll have to get some because when we run out of our homegrown garlic, I can't bring myself to buy the supermarket stuff. I hope it's frost hardy too.

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