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.