Black Garlic is a magical substance. But for those who are daunted by what to do with the coal-coloured cloves, we're here to demystify the black bulb, and show you how to celebrate its unique flavour.
Black Garlic is made by heat-ageing either whole garlic bulbs or individual cloves over several weeks, under carefully controlled humidity. The cloves gradually soften and caramelise over time, turning inky black and gaining their distinctively sweet flavour in the process. Some black garlic fans liken its taste to aged balsamic vinegar, figs, liquorice, or molasses, with an unctuous texture of sticky dates. Lacking white garlic's acidic bite, it is nevertheless packed with umami and consequently much sought after by inventive chefs and top restaurants for its ability to enhance a wide variety of dishes. Here at The Garlic Farm, we add black garlic to many of our in-house dishes and products, including black garlic mayonnaise, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, black garlic beer, black garlic vodka and in the restaurant, our shouldn't-work-but-it-does black garlic brownie ice-cream sundae.
But Black Garlic is much more than just a new taste fad. First developed by Koreans in the early '80s, it is believed to contain valuable nutrients which, in Taoist mythology, were rumoured to endow immortality on the eater. Certainly, the health benefits it offers are multiple.
So what are the health benefits of black garlic? And is black garlic even better for you than regular garlic?
Black garlic contains twice as many antioxidants as standard white garlic. It is also rich in valuable amino acids, the building blocks of protein in the body. However, during the cooking process, the high levels of allicin which are found in uncooked garlic are largely lost. If you are looking for high allicin content then regular garlic is your best bet.
Now that you know how delicious and beneficial this wonder bulb is, you may be wondering, "what can I do with black garlic?" We have a few suggestions!
Cooking with Black Garlic:
- Add a rich sweetness to regular pasta sauces or dips with a finely chopped clove or two of black garlic.
- Use in a vinaigrette with sherry vinegar, oil, and Dijon mustard, to add a natural sweetness to a traditional salad dressing.
- Crush and dissolve a few black garlic cloves in hot water, then add to mashed potato for a twist on an old favourite.
- Purée black garlic with oil, and smear onto bruschetta for a simple but tasty canapé
- Eat the soft cloves straight from the tub as a liquorice-like healthy snack. See our ready to eat tubs here!
- Try our recipe for Black Garlic brownies and we guarantee you'll never go back to ordinary brownies!
You can buy The Garlic Farm's Black Garlic online here.