Talking Garlic Scapes with Gourmend Foods

Gourmend blog

Ketan Vakil - Founder - Gourmend Foods (USA), 14 July 2020

Gourmend Foods, a new US brand specialising in deliciously gourmet foods, recently entered the market with its first product, Garlic Scape Powder. We proudly announced Gourmend Foods and Garlic Scape Powder as new additions to our ever-growing Monash University low FODMAP certifiedTM family. The announcement garnered quite a few queries about this unique ingredient. Here we take the opportunity to ask Gourmend’s founder, Ketan Vakil, a few questions about himself, Gourmend and all things garlic scapes.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started Gourmend Foods.

My father is from India, my grandmother is Polish and my mother is a great cook, so I grew up eating dishes with lots of flavorful ingredients. But as I got older, I discovered that I had a sensitivity to high -FODMAP foods like garlic and onions. The idea of having to eat bland meals for the rest of my life was even more uncomfortable.

Instead of getting frustrated, I got creative. I live in NYC, which is home to some of the best restaurants and farmers’ markets, and started using those resources to source base ingredients that would not cause digestive symptoms, such as garlic scapes and green onions that are only available in limited supply during certain times of the year.

I knew there were a lot of people like me out there who were frustrated by low FODMAP diet limitations and would appreciate the delicious alternatives I had discovered. As we continued to perfect our low -FODMAP formulas, I decided I would do whatever it took to get what I had in my head, freezer and stock pots into the hands of others.

It took almost two years of R&D and finding the right farms and manufacturing partners to realize our vision of creating low- FODMAP foods that are high in flavor and responsibly produced – so unique that we even have a patent pending for the techniques used. Finally, this year, Gourmend was born.

How did you first learn about FODMAPs? 

After struggling with IBS from my teens on, and seeing tons of doctors who were unable to diagnose the underlying condition, I stumbled across some research on my own. It suggested that hydrogen breath tests for lactose, fructose and sucrose might shed some light on the cause. 

I requested the test from a well-known hospital in NYC. While these tests have since been shown to be less than reliable, mine indicated that I needed to limit certain high-FODMAP foods. While I already knew lactose was a problem for me, finding a large spike on the fructose graph was a game changer. It finally helped me understand which foods were problematic so I could avoid them and keep my symptoms at bay. Making these informed dietary changes had a major impact on my life and health.

Your first Monash low FODMAP certified product is Garlic Scape Powder. Garlic scapes is not a widely known ingredient. Can you explain what garlic scapes are and how they are different from the commonly known garlic? 

Garlic scapes are such a cool ingredient. They grow from hard-neck garlic plants that are found mainly in colder growing regions, and are only available for a few weeks a year. 

While commonly known garlic comes from the root of the plant that grows underground (where most FODMAPS seem to gather), the curly scape grows above ground from the stem of the garlic plant early in the growing season. Many chefs and Michelin-rated restaurants prize the scape for its unique, more mellow taste and seasonal rarity, so it’s become more desirable and expensive over time.

Where do you source your garlic scapes? Can you share some detail on how your Garlic Scape Powder is manufactured? 

We work with a handful of fantastic organic farmers here in the U.S. We felt it was important to source from places “close to home” that we visit, know and trust and will continue to source ingredients this way for all our products. 

Of course, acquiring scapes is just the beginning. We’ve learned which parts of the scapes are low in FODMAPs and we trim them by hand to make sure we keep the safest parts of the plant. Next they’re freeze-dried to preserve the amazing aromas and flavors for years to come. Finally, we powder and package them in glass bottles that you can proudly display in your kitchen.

What are the other benefits of your Garlic Scape Powder? 

Our Garlic Scape Powder is organic, gluten- and GMO-free—and includes no fillers, preservatives, anti-caking agents or salt of any kind. No chemicals were used during any part of the manufacturing process. All of our products will continue to feature these same benefits. We want to offer our community products that are as wholesome as the ones you might have made in your kitchen if you had the time.

What does garlic scape powder taste like? How would you recommend adding it to meals? 

Garlic scapes taste slightly sweeter, smoother and more mild than garlic bulbs. And because our powder is freeze-dried, it retains its rich flavor. For the most part, our powder can be used like traditional garlic powder in many preparations. We like sprinkling it on vegetables or meat, using it in a pan sauce or tossing it into a stir fry. You’ll find seven of our favorite ways to cook with garlic scape powder on our website.

Do you have any recipes using Garlic Scape Powder that you could share with our readers? 

Certainly—one of our current favourites is this Miso Salmon recipe! Keep posted on our website for more recipe ideas coming soon! 

Do you have any other low FODMAP foods in the pipeline that you could share with our readers? 

We’re very excited to be launching a Monash -certified, low-FODMAP organic chicken broth by the end of summer. It’ll be the first of its kind made with bones from certified humane chickens, and simmered with other low -FODMAP ingredients for more than 16 hours. Our intention is for this to be the best chicken broth on the market that just happens to be low in FODMAPs too. We love it on its own, or in sauces, soups, or risottos. We’ve got some other unique product surprises in development too – we know a lot of people are missing out on wholesome onion flavor, I know I am.

How can people order Gourmend’s Garlic Scape Powder? 

Our Garlic Scape Powder is available at 

For a limited time, we are offering free shipping on all U.S. shipments. While shipping is only to the United States for now, we’ll be adding more countries based on demand and customs’ friendliness.

Please email us at for any order enquiries. 

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