Black garlic is a unique ingredient that has been used in Korea, Thailand, and Japan, but has only recently come into vogue in the United States. A cutting edge fine dining favorite, it is essentially conventional garlic that has been carefully fermented/roasted for three weeks, until the cloves soften and turn dark black.
There is still disagreement on how best to describe black garlic’s rich, complex flavor. It is sweet (but not cloying) with a more mild garlic aftertaste, but there are nuances that people describe as molasses, balsamic, licorice or tamarind-like flavors. It is considered to be a high umami ingredient.
From a health perspective, garlic and black garlic have long been consumed in Asia for their believed disease preventative and treatment properties. Black garlic is considered healthier than plain garlic because it contains twice as many antioxidants.
Store in a cool, dry cupboard unopened. Once packages have been opened they can be stored in a cupboard or the refrigerator.
Up to nine months unopened, three months opened.
RECIPES & TIPS
The unique flavor of black garlic lends itself to both savory and sweet applications. Though it works well in Asian dishes, it isn’t limited to them. It can be blended into homemade vinaigrette, or seasoned oils. Try using it with Mediterranean-style dishes, either as an ingredient or mixed with extra virgin olive oil to make a delicious substitute for tapenade.
Black garlic also works well in sauces for meat and poultry traditionally paired with fruit sauces and garlic, such as kurobuta pork, duck, or venison, as well as with seafood like monkfish and scallops. It can even be integrated into desserts (try it with dark chocolate) if you’re feeling daring!