Name that Garlic

Our hope is to cultivate a “Potter County” heritage garlic for future generations to enjoy and we need your help. We want to give it a deserving name.  Use the poll to vote. Do you like “Vkoos Odena” or should we name it something else.

 How did we come up with that name? Read below to find out. 

"Vkoos Odena"

One of the garlic cultivars that we grow is a heritage garlic. It has been grown in Potter County for many generations. We were told by those who grew it before us that it originally came from Russia. After a few growing seasons, we were able to identify it as a hardneck, porcelain variety. This strain is characterized by a large, symmetrical bulb with 4 to 6 plump cloves. It grows taller than Rocamboles and has a darker green leaf, with a buff brown clove, and the bulb wrapper is paper-white. Its features are a distinctive, strong spicy flavor and it keeps very well. Our “Odin Long Keeper” (May 2, 2011) is shown in picture.These cloves are being prepared for a Sauerbraten recipe and are still useable 9 months after harvest.

With this known information, we began to research the descriptions of the hundreds of sub-varieties (separate cultivars) of garlic grown all over the world, to identify our garlic so that we would know what to call it. It seemed to be similar to the common “German White” also known as “German Extra Hardy”. In fact in some of our early sales brochures, we listed it as German White. Then we remembered that it was said to have originated in Russia, not Germany.

"Taste of Odin"

It is traditional to name garlic varieties after their geographical origins. The French call this terroir to denote the special characteristics that the geography and climate of a certain place bestowed upon crop varieties. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place”.  The picture is the heritage garlic growing in our garlic field and was taken April 30Th.

More research led us to find the “Leningrad”, which matched our garlic and is definitely Russian. So, we considered the idea of re-naming it “Odingrad” for our little farming village here in Odin, Pennsylvania, but that did not completely suit us.  

With that, we did some more thinking and came up with “Vkoos Odena” which roughly translates to “Taste of Odin”. The idea is that our soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, all contribute to the unique qualities of the garlic. Of course, the Russian alphabet has some characters that do not appear in the English. So, we used the closest sounding English spelling so as to be as phonetically correct as possible with the Russian pronunciation.

With all of that said, we need your help. Use the poll to vote.  Also, if you have a suggestion for a better name, let us know. Let’s have some fun.


About wooleylot

Garlic Farmer
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4 Responses to Name that Garlic

  1. Sharon says:

    I like Vkoos Odena very much, but I like the simplicity of naming the garlic “Taste of Odin.”

  2. I am second generation Russian (a lady) – born here in America, sent to Russian School when I was 11 to 12 years of age. I think I was in Russian School for 2 years and only on Saturdays. Nonetheless, it was always a long saturday – and I learned some of the language of my relatives and “heritage” and learned it slowly, yet steadily. I loved it then – and still love it. Learned to read and write Russian…learned to speak it, albeit slowly and without much understanding…the speaking was always harder than the reading and the writing.

    My name for your garlic is simply “Russki Bellli”.” (“belli” – pronounced with a distinct Russian flare and that lovely tongue, “byell-ee”…(the English word for “white”) – and of course, Russki means “Russian.”

    Of course I think the Russians would actually say it thus: “Belli Rus”…anyway, find a Russian person who can really speak the language – and maybe he or she could agree with me that this should be the name for your wonderful newfound garlic variety!

  3. Pingback: Forgotten Strain Makes Comeback | Wooleylot's Blog

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