If a recipe calls for 8 whole cloves of garlic, does it mean 8 whole garlics? Or does it mean 8 of the wedges?


2 Answers 2


Each "wedge" is a clove. The entire garlic is called a "head".

  • 23
    The heads are also sometimes called bulbs.
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 22:03
  • 16
    And, let's face it, they are not all that standard, so a degree of common sense and how much you like garlic need to be applied to recipes that are written this way, or the results will be very different with large or small cloves...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 22:39
  • 14
    It may be easier to remember this distinction if you realize that the word "clove", as applied to a "wedge" of garlic, comes from the same root as the verb "cleave" (and the corresponding participle "cloven", meaning "split" or "divided"). Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 8:24
  • 3
    It's very important not to mix this up! While at college one of my flatmates made a spag bol using 2 bulbs rather than 2 wedges. Not to be repeated :) Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 9:36
  • 3
    @Fetchezlavache I had to search for "spag bol" to find that it meant "spaghetti bolognese." Now the mental picture is complete. :)
    – mskfisher
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:22

For easy reference , I am posting the picture directly here. Reference : LINK

What is a garlic head and garlic clove ?

  • 1
    The strings also come one bulb wide in a plastic mesh. Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 22:15

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