OUR ANSWERS

GARLIC

Why won’t supermarket garlic keep well?

The garlic you buy at the supermarket may already be past its active life. Garlic does have a limited life span of around 10 months. Afterwards, whatever the storage conditions, garlic simply won’t keep. Since most supermarket garlic comes from places like China, California, Mexico or Argentina, it is difficult to know when it was harvested and how it was stored.

Also, supermarket garlic is generally kept at around 4°C in controlled storage before being placed in the supermarket. When the bulbs are brought to room temperature in the supermarket, they "think" it’s spring and start to sprout! By buying local garlic and by storing it at room temperature to prevent dormancy, you can keep it all winter long.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

How should I store my garlic?

  1. Buy fresh Quebec garlic in season. In addition to being more flavourful, juicy and exquisitely crisp, fresh garlic doesn't have its germ! (Now’s the time!)
  2. Buy your garlic directly from producers. Garlic bought directly from producers has never been stored in cold rooms, which can cause the cloves to germinate early. (The producers: that’s us!)
  3. Buy your garlic from an experienced producer. The way garlic is dried is critical for ensuring that it will keep well throughout the year. Experienced producers know how to process garlic at each of the various steps involved in proper drying to ensure the quality of the bulbs. (We have 25 years of experience!)
  4. Buy a garlic variety that naturally stores well. Garlic varieties do not all have the same shelf life. The Music variety we grow naturally keeps well (it will keep from one harvest to the next). Other varieties have a naturally shorter shelf life. (The Music variety is the one we sell!)
  5. Follow your producer’s advice on how to store your garlic. Ultimately, if you buy our garlic, keep it handy on your kitchen countertop or in your cupboard at room temperature (around 20°C). Since our garlic has not undergone a dormancy period (which happens when it is kept in the cold), its biological clock has stopped. The germ will grow very slowly inside the bulbs and won’t come out for several months—or even not at all—before the next harvest.

Order your Quebec garlic now and you can enjoy it throughout the year!

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

I found some Petit Mas garlic at the grocery store. Can I keep it throughout the year?

The garlic you buy at the grocery store keeps very well. However, it is impossible to know if it was stored for any length of time in a cold room or in cold storage. Therefore, we recommend that you only buy the quantity you need and then buy some more later on. If you want to stock up on Quebec garlic, it is preferable to buy it directly from us, since we can guarantee that it was correctly stored and, therefore, that it will keep until next summer.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Why should I keep my Petit Mas garlic at room temperature? 

The garlic we raise is an autumn variety, which means that it is sown in the fall. The garlic sends out its roots in the fall until the soil freezes. As soon as the soil defrosts in the spring, the garlic breaks the ground and grows until it is harvested in late July and early August.

Keeping our garlic at a temperature of around 20°C or over prevents it from experiencing a cold (dormancy) period, and stops its biological clock. The germ will grow very slowly inside the bulbs, but won’t come out for several months, and sometimes not at all, before the next harvest. If you find the germ too big, you can remove it before cooking. It is after all a part of garlic that is difficult to digest. 

If, on the other hand, our garlic is kept in the cold, bringing it back to room temperature will make the garlic react like it normally does in the spring, and will germinate quickly. Cold storage will also lead garlic start making roots like it does in the fall. The roots will pierce the protective skin of the bulb and the garlic will dry out.

When kept at room temperature (20°C or over), our Music variety garlic will keep from one harvest to the next.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Where does the Music variety of garlic you grow come from?

This variety was propagated by Mr. Al Music, an Ontario garlic producer. According to the story, this garlic was given to him to try by a fellow Yugoslav countryman. Within a few years, this variety became the major garlic variety grown in Ontario. We got this garlic through the Ontario Department of Agriculture who published a booklet on garlic growing and was in contact with Mr. Music.

When we started our business in 1989, we tested 25 different varieties that were provided to us by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Food Research and Development Centre in Chambly, Quebec. At the time, the Centre had just completed a study of over 250 garlic varieties, from which Music garlic emerged as the most promising.

After a few years, we also agreed on the superiority of this garlic: it is highly reliable, has great taste, firm bulbs, and is highly resistant to disease. It’s the variety we’ve been growing ever since.

This said, there are other excellent varieties that warrant attention. In fact, there are thousands of garlic varieties. We chose Music garlic for its qualities, but also for its large commercial potential, our goal being more about bringing local garlic to Quebec tables than about developing expertise in producing and marketing different garlic varieties.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Can I plant Music garlic in the spring?

Music is a fall garlic, so that is when it sprouts roots, which makes it strong and ready to grow as soon as the soil thaws in the spring. If you plant it in the spring, it will not have time sprout enough roots, which will delay its vegetative growth (before flowering) and make for a very poor yield. The size of the bulb will be proportional to the size of the plant. In addition, chances are it will only produce one big clove.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Why is your organic garlic more expensive than imported garlic?

In fact, when you look at it closely, our organic garlic is not really more expensive. It has so much taste that you will use 2 to 3 times less of it, and it will keep so well that you will rarely have to throw any away. You do the math!

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

How do you account for the price difference between conventional and organic products?

The price of our organic garlic—and that of organic products in general—includes the preservation of soil fertility. This component is part of organic farming standards, a method that leaves no contaminant in the environment. Organic methods also protect water tables, preventing pollution from chemical fertilizers or herbicides. In addition, organic producers must also bear the financial costs related to the control and certification of organic farming methods.

Costs related to health care and clean up resulting from environmental degradation are shared by all tax payers, present and future, and are not included in the price of conventional products.

On the whole and over the long run, the price-quality ratio of organic food is quite remarkable.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

How can we be sure that a product is truly organic?

Our products bear a recognized certification label, Ecocert Canada. To see a list of certifying bodies accredited by the Government of Québec, you can visit the CARTV (Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants) website. All organic products you buy should bear a certification label on their packaging.

http://www.cartv.gouv.qc.ca/en

Each year, our farming and processing facilities are inspected. Inspectors verify that our methods comply with the specifications of the certifying body. They also check our inventories against our accounting records to ensure that there are no discrepancies. If they have any doubts, inspectors can follow up with surprise visits.

You can consult these certifying bodies’ specifications on their respective websites.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Where can I find Le Petit Mas garlic? 

Le Petit Mas garlic can be found in your neighbourhood IGA and Metro supermarkets as well as in many grocery stores and independent supermarkets. Visit our points of sale page for the complete list.

We sell our garlic directly to the IGA and Metro warehouse, so it can be ordered by all IGA and Metro stores. If your IGA or Metro does not carry Le Petit Mas garlic, ask the manager to order it! Consumers play a very important role in what grocers put on their shelves. Don’t forget that you are the one who is buying! If you want to buy a large quantity of garlic to stock up for the year, please go to our online store.

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

How can I make sure I have Quebec garlic on hand all year long?

The answer is simple: buy your Quebec garlic from our online store starting in late July.

The Music variety of garlic has been selected by Le Petit Mas for its very long shelf life. This garlic easily be keeps untill March or April and, under proper storage conditions, will keep till the next harvest. 

Quebec still produces less than 5% of the garlic sold in the province, which explains why it is so hard to find Quebec garlic in supermarkets throughout the year.

Quebec garlic is easily found at public markets and a growing number of grocery stores in the summer. It is harvested during the summer and sold in the fall. The closer we get to harvest time, the more difficult it is to find. So make sure you stock up on Quebec garlic now!

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

What is the difference between a garlic braid and the garlic you sell by the kilo?

One of the things that sets those two products apart is their price, with garlic sold by the kilo generally being less expensive than garlic braids, simply because putting garlic in boxes requires less handling than braiding it. However, garlic braids have wonderful decorative and esthetic properties, which justify their higher price.

In our experience, garlic braids do not keep better than bulk garlic. It is the fact that garlic braids are stored at room temperature from the time they are harvested that has given them that reputation.

Also, the garlic variety can be different. Indeed, the garlic we grow is of the Music variety, a hard-stemmed garlic that is just about impossible to braid. But it can be gathered in bunches or sheaves. Soft-stemmed garlic is much easier to handle and braid. Whether you buy garlic braids or not, make sure to enquire about the variety. There are hundreds of garlic varieties and not all of them have the same storage life!

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

Why should I make the effort to ask my grocer for Quebec products?

As a producer, we see each week the role you play in what Quebec grocers offer. Our experience has shown that when it comes to garlic or garlic scapes, consumers do make a huge difference. We regularly receive emails and phone calls from people who now want to carry our products because their clients are asking for it. If merchants do not carry what their clients want, those clients will simply go elsewhere!

Visit our Quebec-grown garlic page for more information about this product.

 

GARLIC scapes

HOW LONG WILL A JAR OF fermented GARLIC scapes KEEP IN THE FRIDGE ONCE IT IS OPENED?

Le Petit Mas Fermented garlic scapes will keep several months, even several years in the refrigerator once the jar has been opened. Over time, say two or three years, the taste will fade. Because of the fermentation process and the type of enzyme we use, our product is considered completely stable. Its sugars have all been converted and are no longer accessible to other micro-organisms. In addition, organic acids and other inhibiting substances produced during fermentation have completely destroyed any undesirable micro-organisms, such as certain pathogens or organisms responsible for decay.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

Do fermented garlic scapes have the same medicinal properties as garlic cloves?

Good news! We can now say with certainty that the same components can be found in both garlic cloves and our fermented garlic scapes. Our recent research in collaboration with CBFC Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has shown that the bioactive molecules, diallyl sulfide (DAS) and diallyl disulfide (DADS) are also present in fermented scapes, but less concentrated than in the cloves.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

Can I eat fermented garlic scapes if I am allergic to garlic or have a garlic intolerance?

Many people who are garlic intolerant or have digestive issues or headaches after eating garlic, tell us that they do not encounter the same problems with fermented garlic scapes. We believe that trying fermented garlic scapes entails only minimal risk.

What we do know for sure is that fermented garlic scapes are highly digestible. Some of our customers who are allergic to garlic tried our fermented garlic scapes without any ill effect and now use the product regularly.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

How come eating fermented garlic scapes does not give garlic breath?

That is a fact for which we have no scientific explanation as yet. We speculate that the fermentation process somehow prevents the formation of the molecules that generate bad breath or that it encourages their degradation. But we don’t have any proof yet.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

Why are fermented garlic scapes easier to digest than garlic cloves?

We have found that fresh raw garlic scapes are just about as difficult to digest as raw green onions. Our garlic scapes in oil are highly digestible because of the fermentation process they undergo. As a matter of fact, that is the case with all fermented vegetables, for example sauerkraut.


Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

How much fermented garlic scapes should I use to replace one clove of garlic in a recipe?

Generally, one teaspoon should do it, but feel free to adjust the quantity to suit your taste!

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

What difference in taste is there between garlic and garlic scapes?

Fermented garlic scapes lack the pungency of garlic cloves. We really love garlic and to us, fermented garlic scapes do not replace garlic cloves but are an interesting alternative for when you don’t want “garlic breath” or when you want to add a delicate garlic flavor to food. For example, garlic scape butter will be much easier to digest than traditional garlic butter and will not mask the taste of lobster or scampi. Fermented garlic scapes are a seasoning in their own right, one which will please all who love the taste of garlic, and even those who don’t.

Cook fresh garlic scapes like other vegetables. Steamed or stir-fried, their taste is similar to green beans or asparagus, but slightly sweeter.

Chopped, fresh garlic scapes can be eaten raw. They have a spicy, slightly garlicky taste and are a good substitute for green onions.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

CAN I COOK FERMENTED GARLIC SCAPES THE SAME AS GARLIC?  

You can substitute fermented garlic scapes for garlic in any dish where you would use garlic. You can also use fermented garlic scapes in any dish where you wouldn’t necessarily think of using garlic, since they are an extremely versatile seasoning!

In a recipe, you can substitute fermented garlic scapes for garlic as follows:

  1. For raw dishes (vinaigrettes, dips, etc.) or lightly cooked ones (fish, marinated steak, pizza, etc.), fermented garlic scapes can be added at the same moment when you would have added garlic.
  2. For other dishes, add the fermented garlic scapes at the end of cooking.
  3. Don’t sauté fermented garlic scapes in a pan like garlic.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

Why don’t you use olive oil in your products?

After the fermentation process, we let our garlic scapes macerate at 4°C, then store them at that same temperature. Olive oil becomes solid at that temperature. In addition, its taste is too strong for our use. That is why we use sunflower or canola oil.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

Why is the product yellower at the bottom of the jar?

During the fermentation and maceration processes, the chlorophyll in garlic scapes leaks into the oil, which becomes a very dark green. The oil rises to the surface and the acid juices sink to the bottom, which explains the difference in colour.

We recommend that you gently stir the content of the jar before use, which will make for a more homogenous product.

Visit our Fermented Garlic Flowers page for more information about this product.

 

 

 

ONLINE STORE

How can I calculate how many kilos of garlic I need to last me throughout the year?

Small size: 30 g and under, diameter of 41 mm and under, approximately 40 bulbs per kilogram**.

Medium size: 30 g to 50 g, diameter of 44 mm to 47 mm, 24 to 31 bulbs per kilogram**.

Large size: 50 g and over, diameter of 50 mm and over, approximately 13 bulbs per kilogram**.

Each head has between 3 and 6 cloves.

It is now up to you to determine how many cloves you need for one week.

DETERMINE HOW MANY CLOVES YOU USE IN A WEEK AND MAKE THE FOLLOWING CALCULATION: 

Number of cloves per week x number of weeks / number of cloves per bulbs / number of bulbs per kilo (depending on size) = the number of kilos to order

Example:

4 cloves per week x 52 weeks = 208 cloves

208 cloves / 4 cloves per bulbs = 52 bulbs

If I choose large-size garlic: 52 bulbs / 13 bulbs per kilo = 4 kg

If I choose medium-size garlic: 52 bulbs / 20 bulbs per kilo = 2.6 kg 

If I choose small-size garlic: 52 bulbs / 40 bulbs per kilo = 1.3 kg

Order from our online store.

What is the difference between large, medium and small-size garlic beside the size of the clove itself?

Small size: 30 g and under, diameter of 41 mm and under, approximately 40 bulbs per kilogram, between 110 and 120 seedlings per kilo**. 

Medium size: 30 g to 50 g, diameter of 44 mm to 47 mm, 24 to 31 bulbs per kilogram, between 80 and 120 seedlings per kilo**.

Large size: 50 g and over, diameter of 50 mm and over, approximately 13 bulbs per kilogram, between 52 and 65 seedlings per kilo**.

The size of the clove is usually proportional to the bulb, so larger bulbs mean larger cloves. If you’re cooking many portions or if you’re simply a big garlic lover, large cloves are ideal. The larger the clove, the less you need to peel!

*Sizes are set by the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario. 

**The number of bulbs per kilogram is for information purposes only and can vary from package to package. One thing is certain: you will always get 1 kilogram of garlic!

Order from our online store.

What is the difference between Grade 1 and Grade 2 garlic?

Appearance: Grade 2 garlic (unappealing, unmarketable, etc.) is garlic that we cannot sell to supermarkets because of its appearance (not as white, damaged skin, missing a clove, etc.). In contrast to Grade 1 garlic, which looks great, Grade 2 garlic is less attractive!

Taste: Grade 1 garlic and Grade 2 garlic are equivalent in terms of taste.

Conservation: Grade 1 garlic keeps for a long time, easily until the spring. Grade 2 garlic keeps only until the winter (or possibly longer). Grade 2 garlic is perfect for fall recipes, canning and cooking during the holidays. It is best to consume Grade 2 garlic first and Grade 1 garlic last.

Order from our online store.

Is the garlic you sell through your online store certified organic?

All Music garlic is certified organic by Ecocert Canada.

For now, our Glazed Purple Stripe garlic is grown in fields that are in the process of transition, which means that we farm the garlic organically, but it does not yet have its certification.

Fortunately, the two varieties look very different (find out more about garlic varieties). It is impossible to confuse the two!

Order from our online store!

IS THE GARLIC SOLD IN YOUR ONLINE STORE ALL GROWN IN THE EASTERN TOWNSHIPS?

Yes, all the Quebec garlic in our online store is grown in Saint-Malo and Martinville, in the Eastern Townships.

Order from our online store.

Can the garlic you sell be planted?

Yes. The garlic we eat is the same as the garlic we plant. However, it should be noted that in Canada, there is no organization that certifies seeds. Therefore, it is not possible at this time to find seeds that are disease-free certified. On the other hand, we are happy to say that Le Petit Mas is free from leek moth. (Hasn’t found us yet!) 

Order from our online store.

What is the difference between garlic sold in bulk, in a mesh bag or simply as seeds?

The garlic sold in bulk is delivered directly in a box without any plastic packaging, while the other is sold in individual mesh bags of 1 kg, so it’s simply a question of packaging. Buying in bulk is ideal for seeds or if you wish to save about 5% on your order.

The garlic we plant is the same as the one we eat. However, there is no organization in Canada that certifies seeds, therefore it is not currently possible to find disease-free certified seeds. Nevertheless, we don’t have leek moth at Le Petit Mas. (They have not found our garlic fields yet!)

Garlic seeds are not divided into individual cloves as this jeopardizes their conservation.

We don’t sell garlic in bulk at the farm store or at agri-food fairs.

Order from our online store.

How do I calculate the number of kilos I need for planting?

One clove of garlic = 1 seedling

Small size: 30 g and under, diameter of 41 mm and under, approximately 40 bulbs per kilogram, between 110 and 120 seedlings per kilo**. 

Medium size: 30 g to 50 g, diameter of 44 mm to 47 mm, 24 to 31 bulbs per kilogram, between 80 and 120 seedlings per kilo**.

Large size: 50 g and over, diameter of 50 mm and over, approximately 13 bulbs per kilogram, between 52 and 65 seedlings per kilo**.

 

When planting garlic, leave 15 cm (6 in) between each clove, that is plant 2 cloves per foot of row.

**The number of bulbs/seedlings per kilogram is for information purposes only and can vary from package to package. One thing is certain: you will always get 1 kilogram of garlic!

Order from our online store.

When will I receive my garlic? 

If you order your garlic in August, you will receive it in September. The processing time of your order depends on the number of orders we receive. We process the orders on a first come, first served basis. The sooner you order your garlic in August, the sooner you will receive it in September, and so on for the following months. 

Order from our online store.

What are the shipping costs?

Shipping costs are $20 + tax, i.e. $23 for every order of $200 or less.

Delivery is free for all orders of $200 (tax included) or more. 

There are no shipping costs for orders that are picked up at our Sherbrooke office. Pick-up is available by appointment only. Please contact Marie-Pierre Dubeau at 819-849-0564 or, by email, at info@lepetitmas.ca.

Order from our online store.

Can I pick up my order directly at the farm?

Yes, just select the option “I will pick up my order at the farm” and come pick it up during opening hours.

**Note** As Le Petit Mas expanded in 2016 (find out more), our office has moved.

Opening hours

Wednesday to Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. 
Sunday to Tuesday: Closed

Opens September 1 and will remain open until supplies last

Order from our online store.

Can Le Petit Mas products be returned or refunded?


No returns will be accepted unless a previous agreement has been made with Le Petit Mas.

Should there be an error in preparing your order, or should you not be satisfied with one of our products, please contact us by email at vente@lepetitmas.ca or by phone at 819 849-0564.

Returns are accepted within 15 days following date of shipping by Le Petit Mas.

The cost of returning merchandise and reshipping charges, where applicable, will be charged to the client.

Shipping costs will not be refunded.

Order from our online store.

I live outside Quebec: can I still order online?

Yes. The shipping fees will be calculate directly on the online store. Please contact us for orders over $1000.

LACTIC FERMENTATION

What is lactic fermentation?

It is fermentation using lactic bacteria. During fermentation, these bacteria generate lactic acid, which gives our garlic scapes their particular taste. The fermentation process uses the sugars, essentially fructose, which are present in great quantity in the garlic scapes and transforms them by producing organic acids. Our product is therefore alive since it contains beneficial lactic bacteria and enzymes and is not pasteurized. 

Can I use yogurt bacterial culture to ferment garlic SCAPES?

Yogurt bacterial cultures work well for lactose, the type of sugar present in dairy products. They are not appropriate for the fermentation of garlic scapes, where the main sugar is fructose.

I would like to process the garlic SCAPES from my garden. How should I proceed?

At home, simply put the chopped garlic scapes in oil with some lemon juice and store in the fridge. This will start a slow fermentation process. Lemon juice is used to decrease the pH and to promote the lactic bacteria that are naturally present.

IMPORTANT: It is essential to keep homemade garlic scapes well refrigerated to prevent the growth of the “Clostridium botulinum” bacteria, the bacteria responsible for botulism.

Is it possible to let garlic SCAPES ferment naturally, without the addition of any bacterial culture?

In the course of our research, we have observed that natural fermentation, i.e. fermentation with only those micro-organisms naturally present on fresh garlic scapes, is possible but risky. Inoculating the garlic scapes with our starter culture makes it possible to decrease the pH to a safe level in less than 24 hours, which is not the case with natural fermentation. Our process therefore ensures the rapid destruction of harmful micro-organisms.

In addition, when garlic scapes are allowed to ferment with only naturally-occurring micro-organisms, there will be wide fluctuations in taste and/or conservation since there is no way to tell which bacteria or yeast will prevail over the others. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency authorizes the sale of our product specifically because it uses a controlled fermentation process.

What bacterial culture do you use and where can I get some?

The bacterial culture we use was developed specifically for us in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and CBFC, our research partner. It is part of our proprietary process and recipe and is not commercially available.

 

FARM STORE

What mode of payment do you accept?

At the farm store, we accept only Visa, MasterCard and cash.

Can i order my garlic from the farm in advance and then pick it up?

No, we don’t process advance orders at the farm store. 

For smaller amounts, don’t worry, we will have enough garlic available for sale at the store.

For larger amounts, it’s best to order your garlic from our online store and then have it delivered to your home (free delivery for orders of $200 and over) or select the option “I will pick up my order at the farm.”

Can i buy garlic at the farm? 

Yes!

Opening hours

Wednesday to Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. 
Sunday to Tuesday: Closed

Opens September 1 and will remain open until supplies last

No advance orders

Modes of payment: Visa, MasterCard and cash only

When is the farm store open? 

Opening hours

Wednesday to Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. 
Sunday to Tuesday: Closed

Opens September 1 and will remain open until supplies last

No advance orders