Garlic scapes are a lot like asparagus — in season around springtime, spear-like and pointy, crispy but tender, and gets tougher towards the root end. It is naturally fragrant when fresh but releases an agreeable mild garlic aroma once a bit of heat is applied.
Garlic scapes have an eye-catching curliness that makes you want to pick up a bundle and whip it around just to see if it springs back to shape. Don’t flog it too hard — the shape of the garlic scape stems is a good indicator of freshness. The more it resembles a pig’s tail or corkscrew, the younger and more tender it is. Avoid garlic scapes that have almost straightened out if you don’t feel like gnawing on green curly chopsticks.