Lorz Italian is an ‘Artichoke’ type garlic, brought to WA State’s Columbia River Basin around 1900 by the Lorz family when they immigrated from Italy. It is part of the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste, a program preserving endangered heirloom foods with unique tastes and characteristics.
This bold, spicy, and flavorful Italian garlic is hotter than most varieties and is a natural for Italian cuisine, and its easy-to-peel skin makes it popular with chefs and home cooks. It adds spicy flavor with medium heat to stir-fries, meats, roasted vegetables, tomato-based sauces and other dishes. Lorz Italian has an excellent stand-alone flavor that works well in simple pasta dishes and mashed potatoes, and makes delicious, rich roasted garlic. Stores 6-9 months.
Lorz Italian multiples very quickly. One pound of cloves at planting can easily become 8-10 pounds of bulbs at harvest. The large bulbs average 16 squarish cloves with a few small interior cloves. Soft-neck garlic doesn’t typically produce scapes, but occasionally Lorz Italian will develop a large scape with huge bulbils.
Plant the biggest cloves for the best results. Lorz Italian matures earlier than hard-neck garlic and is very easy to grow but prefers a well-drained soil. It’s a robust variety that grows rapidly, will tolerate the summer heat well and is resistant to Late Blight. Bulbs should be harvested when plants begin to ‘flop’ over. Lorz Italian is so large and ‘juicy’ that it must be carefully cured for the best storing times. Be especially careful with the biggest fattest bulbs to prevent rot. When curing this or any large soft-neck, clip off roots and spread the bulbs very thinly to ensure good air flow. Most years you can leave the garlic tops on until they dry, but if it is very wet and humid at harvest you may need to remove the tops for faster drying time. You can also direct a fan on the curing bulbs.