Monday, 24 January 2011
Growing Society Garlic or Chinese Garlic Chives?
Growing in my parents' garden at the moment is an edible plant with garlicky foliage that is pretty tasty when stir-fried. They were given a clump of the plant a few years ago, and it has been growing in the garden ever since. For the longest time, we assumed these were Garlic Chives, also called Chinese Chives (or "Gow Choi" in Chinese).
It turns out that this wasn't a chive plant at all.
A few days later, as I was sifting through packets of seeds at our local garden centre, I stumbled across a packet with pinky mauve flowers on the front that bore a close resemblance to the flowers on our plant. The packet was labelled "Society Garlic" seeds.
Whilst most reference books I have read list the flowers of Society Garlic as being edible, there is less documentation to be found on the culinary uses of the leaves. One article I have read even suggests that they are not suitable for eating.
Green Culture Singapore "Getting to know Society Garlic"
"Organic Vegetable Gardening" by Annette McFarlane/ Gardening Australia (ABC)
"Dig" by Meredith Kirkton