I don’t like to trashtalk God’s creation, but I have to admit there are a few choice organisms I have to scratch my head at. Let’s even leave people completely out of it. It’s hard to know what plants and animals were fully intended creations, and which were evil mutations occasioned by the Fall. I’d say there’s a fair amount of ambiguity around things like locusts, poison ivy, bed bugs, the black plague, and cilantro.

But then, there are some curious and strange creations that are so phenomenal, you just can’t help singing out their praises and God’s too, of course. Imagine if you will, a long whip-like green vegetable. Like a super-long, flexible green bean with some nodules along the length. Their full name is ‘garlic scapes’, but I don’t know if that’s because they are somehow related or attached to garlic or because they taste like garlic or all of the above. Ask a farmer, okay. I’m just here to tell you, these things rock

I don’t have any pictures of scapes because, as you have surely noticed, this blog does not feature photography. My photography is an abomination so it has no place here, but if you’d like to see some of my subpar shots, head on over to my other blog, Meximoxie (HERE) where I let it sneak by with a ‘pass.’ Here at The Delighted Life, however, we have to put on our imagination hats and rely on words to create the pictures just like in the old days.

Scapes are actually something you can compare to something else, which I think is rare in the fruits and vegetable world. People want to compare an unknown to a known and it usually makes no sense. Like dragon fruit is really hot right now but I can’t even fathom what it would taste like. I’ve written on jicama (HERE) and of course people want to know what it tastes like. I don’t really know what to say. One friend said she’d heard it resembled a cross between an apple and a raw potato. Can you raise your hand please if you’ve ever eaten raw potato and then explain why on earth? I think it’s more like a water chestnut only sweeter, if that helps, unless you don’t like water chestnuts. I think you could still like jicama. But why wouldn’t you like water chestnuts?  We fight for them in our house come stir-fry night. My dad will be all casual-like and non-chalant saying, “Oh hey there, don’t take all the water chestnuts,” when what he really means is: if you take all the water chestnuts I might have to beat you with the frying pan.

Think green beans. Everybody knows what green beans are like. Scapes are like green beans that taste like they’ve been steamed with garlic. Brilliant! Garlic green beans—that’s exactly what scapes are like and they’re especially delicious in a mixture of steamed vegetables with balsamic vinegar poured all over them (see my ode to balsamic HERE). I see that there are a lot of recipes for garlic scape pesto. It’s probably great, but scapes hold their own. You don’t need a complicated recipe to enjoy the best they have to offer.

I’ve never seen them at a grocery store, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I got mine as a part of my farm share last week. Look for them at the farmer’s market.


5 thoughts on “Scapes.

  1. I don’t know why we don’t see these at the grocery store more. Because, I did do some research, these are the flower stalks of garlic plants (think top of a green onion) that has to be cut off so the energy goes toward bulb development instead of to the flower. The nodules that you speak of are the developing flower, which you would see if you broke it open there. My question is, what happens to all the scapes in the world if they have to be trimmed in order to produce quality garlic?

    We actually did go pesto style with these and I would say, they are probably better cooked. They had an intense garlic flavor and left us tasting garlic well into the next day. I think I would take your advice and cook them a bit before munching on these again. But they are definitely garlic. I would also say a few raw stems would be awesome thrown in a hummus.

  2. That is totally how dad is about the water chestnuts. I think that is why he likes to eat stir fry with me, cause I like them, but not to the point of taking more than my fair share.

    • Dad likes to eat stir fry with you because Dad likes stir fry and he can cajole you into making it. It’s really just a vehicle for the water chestnuts which most people would feel strange about eating straight out of the can, but I do not. He enjoys the healthy competition that I bring to the meal. It keeps him young.

  3. um. i just planted cilantro. and i’m in love with it. why, pray tell, does it deserve to be on your list with bed bugs? i’m delighted by cilantro in fact : )

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