- Probably native to Central Asia, garlic is a member of the same family as leeks and onions. There are many varieties of differing size, pungency and colour. The bulb or 'head' of garlic is formed of 12-16 bulblets, commonly called 'cloves'. The most widely used variety has a white/grey skin and is grown in southern France. Garlic is used to flavour many types of dishes and, for real lovers of its taste, can be roasted whole and served as a vegetable.