Dear Truffler: Garlic, breadmaking courses, frilly parsley

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I think it was in your column that I saw a brief note about a garlic supplier for different sorts of garlic, but I can't find it again. Would you know of any farm/shop that I can contact?

I think it was in your column that I saw a brief note about a garlic supplier for different sorts of garlic, but I can't find it again. Would you know of any farm/shop that I can contact?

KH Matheson, by e-mail

You might be confusing me with someone else; I don't remember mentioning garlic. I hope you haven't been sneaking a look at other columns. So that you never have to again, here, in a nutshell, is everything you need to know about garlic. The biggest authority on garlic in the UK is the Garlic Farm at Newchurch on the Isle of Wight (01983 813818/ www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk). It grows half a dozen varieties of garlic which it sells mail order and at farmers' markets. The Isle of Wight garlic for which the farm is famous resembles California late and the world's best, Venetian. A string will keep in a warm, dry place (hey, why not the kitchen?) for almost a year. As well as growing garlic, Colin Boswell discovers and imports other types of garlic to sell from Italy, Spain, California and even further afield. The Garlic Farm also sells seeds so that you can grow your own. Is that enough garlic to be going on with?

Do you know of any good bread-making courses? I'm never entirely successful in this field, and I suspect that a day of being shown how to do it by an expert would help enormously.

Kate Calvert, London

I hope you're patient, as I can't offer instant solutions – but then, bread-making isn't for anyone in a hurry. Baker & Spice, the Knightsbridge treasure trove of bread and patisserie (020-7589 4734) runs courses between March and June and October and November. Ring early next year to book on to one of the spring courses, and do it quickly, as places go like, oooh, hot cakes. They'll be running evening courses from around £70, usually with Dan Lepard, who has written about baking and is one of the best known artisan bakers around.

Otherwise, head for the Village Bakery in Cumbria. For 25 years the bakery has been passing on the principles of organic baking. The next fundamentals course is 12-13 January 2002. There are also two in February, one each in March and April, and one for families in May. These are all £275 for two days, some meals, notes, recipes and whatever you bake to take home. Details from The Village Bakery, Melmerby, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 1HE, 01768 881515, e-mail: courses@village-bakery.com, www.village-bakery.com.

Is frilly parsley considered naff? You never see it in recipes or food photography, it's all flat leaves now. What's wrong with frills, are they un-PC?

Lydia Simpson, Ilkley

Please don't come on all anti-PC with me. Frilly does seem out of fashion, though it has as much flavour and is cheaper. Incooking, both varieties taste the same. Curly parsley also lends itself to deep frying – try it, it's good. Maybe curly got a bad name because, as it stays perky for longer, it was employed to sit around for hours on buffet dishes. Flat parsley's easier to chop, and the leaves seem juicier. It's also the Mediterranean variety, hence the fashionably exclusive status.

Send questions to: Dear Truffler, 'The Independent', 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or e-mail Truffler@independent.co.uk. We can't promise instant answers, but will do our best to root out solutions and print them here

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