Photo by Michel Chauvet, Creative Commons license

Cadours purple garlic (Ail violet de Cadours) is characterized by its violet outer peel and streaks of purplish color. It is a large type of garlic, with a rounded form and the cloves are either ivory white or slightly purplish.

Eaten raw or cooked, it presents a strong garlicy odor. It is the earliest of France’s varieties of garlic to become ready for picking, arriving on the market around July and can easily be kept until February of the next year. This type of garlic is traditionally grown on sunny limestone and clay hills around the town of Cadours, in Haute Garonne.

In the Cadours area in southern France where this garlic originated, there is a several-generation-long, deep connection between the place it is made, the garlic and its producers. It is celebrated every year at an annual local celebration called the Fête d’Ail, or Garlic Festival.