Oh great and curly scape! Your pointy end and bulbous middle indicate and amuse!
Scape is the great indicator. The allium cellular conflagration that says “if I had a flower, I’d be flowering because my cycle is nearly over”. It shoots out of the leaves of your hardneck garlic plants and curls, curls, curls in a wormy display of bursting resource. So why do we cut it (aside from the fact that it tastes like garlic and can be used in tons of recipes)?
Actually, you don’t need a better reason.
But okay, okay. It helps to remove the scape so that the final burst of energy from the plant can go into the bulb formation happening beneath the soil.
So, when do you remove the scape?
Whenever you are hungry for garlic flavor!
Okay, okay. Remove the scape when it is curly and has wound around itself to form a couple of coils. Or do it before. Or, really.. later when it is a little straighter. Whatever. Just remove it!
But seriously, remove it because it’s delicious.
Check out this awesome Scape Humus that my friend Chris made. (On a crunchy homemade pita slice too.)