Monaro Purple

Ark of taste
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The Monaro Purple is an Australian species in the onion genus, Allium. Its origin is not proved however, it is believed to have appeared in 1940s. For the first time, it was recognised in the Snowy Mountains. It is believed to have been brought by Yugoslavian tunnel diggers working on the Snowy Hydro Scheme. Its name derives from the Monaro region that is located in the New South Wales and in small part of Victoria near the Snowy River National Park.

The ‘Monaro’ is a geo-cultural region comprising a high country plateau (from around 600m above sea level in the north near Canberra and Braidwood, to around 1000m further south around Bombala and Jindabyne) of open eucalyptus woodlands.

Originally, and still, the home of a number of Aboriginal nations (including the Ngun(n)awal, Ngambri, Ngarigo and Yuin peoples), its ‘settler’ history has been largely focused on open rangeland grazing, principally sheep for meat and wool.

The Monaro Purple produces large creamy pink with purple striping bulb. It has usually 10-11 cloves. It is known for its rich delicious garlic flavour. It is a fast growing garlic, which likes winter cold however has to be harvested quickly once bulbs are mature. It can be cultivated in most growing regions of Australia. Unfortunately, due to the cheap imports of international varieties, the local producers stopped to produce it. Nowadays, there are only few growers who still offer it.

The Monaro Purple is used as a seasoning and condiment. It can be cooked and added to various dishes.

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New South Wales

Other info


Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Helen Lynch, Bronwyn Richards