Garlic vs Purple Garlic: Difference and Comparison

Every food item has several types. Consequently, it may become confusing at times to choose the ingredient that best suits our demands.

White garlic and purple garlic are one such pair of food ingredients. While the two have several similar health benefits, garlic and purple garlic vary in their origin, appearance, and flavour. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a widely cultivated and popular herb featuring white or off-white bulbs.
  2. Purple garlic has a purple hue on the outer skin and a slightly milder flavor.
  3. Both types of garlic offer similar health benefits, but purple garlic is considered more visually appealing.

Garlic vs Purple Garlic 

Garlic is a widely used culinary herb, a member of the onion family, has white skin and is made up of multiple cloves. Purple garlic, also known as hard neck garlic, is a variety of garlic that is characterized by its reddish-purple skin and milder, sweeter taste and is known for its stiff stem.

Garlic vs Purple Garlic

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Garlic refers to a fundamental component of many food items. It belongs to the onion family.

Garlic consists of manganese, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, selenium, and fibre. The ideal conditions for storing garlic are warm and dry environments.

Some health benefits of garlic include its potential to reduce proneness to cancer. 

Purple garlic is a variant of white garlic that offers hypoglycemic and antioxidant properties. Purple garlic has a wide international demand for its exquisite quality.

Purple garlic also harbours significant proportions of vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. A typical purple garlic consists of 8-10 cloves.

It may have an intense or spicy taste. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGarlicPurple Garlic
OriginGarlic originates from a category termed as softneck garlic.Purple garlic originates from a category termed as hardneck garlic. 
Appearance The papery skin of garlic is dominantly white in colour.The papery skin of purple garlic is dominantly purple in colour.
FlavourGarlic has a strong flavour.Purple garlic has a mild taste.
DurabilityGarlic has a longer shelf life than purple garlic.Purple garlic lasts fewer days than white garlic.
Availability Garlic is easily available in supermarkets and general stores. Purple garlic is easily available in farmer’s markets. 

What is Garlic?

Garlic is one of the most commonly used ingredients for cooking food. As such, garlic belongs to the genus Allium.

By appearance, garlic is a bulbous flowering plant. Some examples of the close relatives of garlic include onion, leek, shallot, Chinese onion, and chive.

In addition, garlic has been a practical seasoning ingredient for hundreds of years. 

Apart from its use as a food item, garlic has several medicinal properties. A common name for garlic is the stinking rose.

The name originates from the strong odour of garlic. Garlic breath may also be a likely outcome of eating garlic in significant proportion to one’s meal.

However, fresh parsley is consumed as an ingredient to get rid of the garlic smell.

The smell and taste of garlic originate from the high proportions of sulphur compounds that are dominant in it.

Moreover, speculations suggest that the sulphur circulating in the blood as a result of garlic consumption may function as a mosquito repellent. However, there is no factual evidence to prove its practical application. 

The Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, and Roman cultures have been known to use garlic for its medicinal properties. The bulb of the garlic is its most extensively used part.

Garlic powder is an outcome of dried garlic. Consequently, garlic powder can be used in the absence of fresh garlic.

Garlic serves as a predominant ingredient in many Asian and South Asian dishes.  


What is Purple Garlic?

Purple garlic is a variation of white garlic. The papery skin of purple garlic has an evidently purple touch.

However, the inside cloves of white garlic and purple garlic are both identical in nature. In addition, purple garlic originates from hard-neck garlic.

Purple garlic may be a little harder to obtain as compared to white garlic. 

Purple garlic may not be easily located in supermarkets. However, purple garlic can be easily found in markets operated by farmers or speciality markets.

Fresh purple garlic tastes milder than white garlic. Moreover, purple garlic has a more juicy flavour.

Purple garlic is used in salads and other dishes that require a moderate garlic flavour.

One of the dominant beneficiaries of purple garlic is allicin. Allicin offers several antioxidant benefits to the consumers of purple garlic.

For one, allicin decreases the proportion of free radicals in the human body.  Some studies also suggest the application of allicin in reducing susceptibility to cancer.

Additionally, purple garlic may help bring down sugar levels in the body.

Purple garlic can be used invariably for white garlic. The likely outcome of using either white garlic or purple garlic is the consumption of a healthy food item.

It is important to note that there are taste variations in raw and cooked purple garlic. Cooked purple garlic produces a somewhat sweeter taste than raw purple garlic. 

purple garlic

Main Differences Between Garlic and Purple Garlic

  1. Garlic originates from a category termed as soft neck garlic. In contrast, purple garlic originates from a category termed as hard neck garlic. 
  2. Garlic has a longer shelf life than purple garlic.
  3. The papery skin of garlic is dominantly white in colour. On the other hand, the papery skin of purple garlic is dominantly purple in colour.
  4. Garlic has a strong flavour. In contrast, purple garlic has a mild taste.
  5. Garlic is easily available in supermarkets and general stores. In contrast, purple garlic is easily available in farmer’s markets. 
Difference Between Garlic and Purple Garlic

Last Updated : 19 June, 2023

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