Ask Chef Boy Ari
Q: Dear Flash,
I want to plant garlic this fall. What kind should I plant, and how should I plant it?
A: This is a great time to think about planting garlic. Since it usually happens in October to early November, now's when you want to acquire seed garlic and figure out where to grow it.
You have two basic options for getting your hands on some seed: You can order it or you can just go out and buy garlic and plant it. There really isn't a difference between seed garlic and non-seed garlic--except that with seed garlic, you know exactly which variety you're getting. And if you buy garlic at the farmers' market, the farmer might be able to tell you what kind it is; then there’s really no difference. Even if the farmer doesn't know, you can at least rest assured that whatever variety it is, it will do well in your climate, as the farmer surely grew it locally. Pick out the biggest, burliest, healthiest looking bulbs you can.
Adventures in multiculturalism
A couple days ago I was chatting on the phone with former Alibi food critic Jennifer Wohletz. As we filled each other in on what we've been up to, the conversation drifted to how people form their worldview. She described her biological family's impression of this great, big planet thusly: “They really think that there's a big country called Red China that incorporates Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia—basically any place Asian.”