Garlic varieties will fall into two main types: hardneck and softneck. You can tell the difference easily by looking and feeling for a rigid, pencil-like stalk in the center of the garlic bulb. The hardneck varieties will have this stalk. Softneck varieties will have paper-like skins covering the cloves within the bulb. Grocery store garlic will be a softneck variety because it can be stored for up to 18 months. Hardneck varieties will generally only store well for up to 9 months.