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Where to buy garlic stems

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I'm cooking some recipes from Fuschia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. Where can I buy garlic stems and green garlic, around Mountain View?

I was just at Ranch 99 in Mountain View and I couldn't find any. Of course, it's possible my detective skills weren't good enough...

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  1. They're out of season. You can try again in the spring.

    1. The stems are called "scapes". If you have some garlic sprouting in your pantry, pop them in a pot of soil and try growing your own! But you will still have to wait......

      1. Per Dunlop's web site, garlic stems, "known confusingly as suan tai 蒜薹 in Sichuan, suan miao 蒜苗 in Hunan and suan xin 蒜芯 in at least some Cantonese areas," are not the same thing as green garlic, "which the Sichuanese call suan miao 蒜苗 and people in other parts of China call qing suan 青蒜."


        Some discussion on the LA board:


        1. Like Melanie says, both are out of season right now, so I haven't seen them at the farmer's markets. Garlic scapes (thin, stiff, green, with a bulb on top) are usually available in the spring though, and I think green garlic is available at even more times of the year.

          I'm actually surprised Ranch 99 didn't have either of them, since I've seen them at Asian markets even out of season. I'll keep my eye out for them, but I guess maybe keep looking at Ranch 99, or even ask someone while you are there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dave MP

            " I've seen them at Asian markets even out of season."

            That's interesting. They seem to have a mind of their own, although the different varieties behave differently. The hardneck bulbs I have seem determined to sprout right now. I like to think they know what yhey are doing!

            1. re: Dave MP

              Saw green garlic (pictured) at a few stands at SF civic center farmers market on Wed. Did not see any scapes.

            2. Thanks everyone. Nice to get a response from bay area chowhound celebrity Melanie Wong.

              Thanks Robert, I did see that page. While at Ranch 99, I looked mostly by looks since the names are so confusing.

              Meanwhile I'll keep looking at Ranch 99; if anyone sees any in peninsula or south bay, let me know! Otherwise I'll wait till spring, which is too bad because those recipes look so tasty.