There is quite a lot of garlic on the market, especially from China, but it should not prove very difficult to find the genuine article from Spain, and it is worth seeking out the best quality. There are a number of varieties, but the most commonly found are Spring White and Purple.

Spring White has white skin and flesh and is generally quite large. It has a comparatively mild flavour and aroma, which makes it especially good for soups or any dish which requires whole cloves.

Purple garlic or ajo morado is usually of a medium size with quite small, slightly curving cloves covered with a purple or violet skin. It has a quite intense aroma and flavour and is a great all-purpose garlic. Its traditional heartland is Las Pedroñeras, where it actually has protected status or IGP.

Many recipes call for garlic purée. It is easy to find ready-made which makes life easier, but unless you come across some from a Spanish importer, it is difficult to guarantee the quality and it’s really best to use a garlic press. You will be rewarded with a much fresher and more intense flavour.