Word of Mouth: Scape

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Scape n. Flowering stem of a plant. Garlic scapes, the new buds of the Allium family, are an early summer delicacy.

Scapes are the flowerstalks found on many plants, including all members of the Allium family (leeks, onions, chives, and garlic). Garlic scapes twist and curl as they grow, ultimately straightening before they flower. Most garlic producers remove these flowertops to promote the growth of the plant, but the best farmers know to keep and eat them while they are coiled and tender. We loved this photo from SFist's article on garlic scapes...

...go there for some links to great recipes that include garlic scapes. We love both the look and the taste of these marvelously delicate and tender garlic shoots. Many garlic plants are putting out their scapes right around this time of year, so look for them at the farmer's markets.

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.