What is black garlic?
Well, black garlic is exactly that. Black garlic. Apart from it hasn’t got the strong regular garlic taste and lingering bad breath experience of the white variety and due to its soft texture and its sweet flavour, you can eat the cloves like jelly babies. Or at least I can! Oh, and it also has more health benefits than the white variety.
You can make some yourself but it's not a quick process. It take from 12 days to even months depending on what equipment you use and how much you want to make. Some say it’s a fermenting process and others say it’s the Maillard reaction. I’m going with the latter as it is slightly heated causing a chemical reaction between the amino acids and sugars. This in turn causes the browning of the cloves, making them look black. A word of warning before making some though. The smell at first is very pungent indeed and can last several days during the process until eventually dying down a little. Although by then you may need a complete house cleanse to get over it.
Which is best, regular or black garlic?
Personally, I think they both have their place and sometimes even a mix of both will enhance a homecooked dish. You only need a small amount of regular garlic in most recipes as the taste can be overpowering whereas black garlic is less pungent so it's easier to overindulge and get away with it!
What can you do with black garlic?
I first came across black garlic in a recipe. I had no idea where I could get it from or even what it was like. Now I have it in risottos, curries and stews and even mashed in to a bit of butter on my toast in the mornings. My list could go on and I can’t imagine not having it now. If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly recommend you do.
You can buy it from Case For Cooking ready to go in clove form and also from Little Black Hen as a delicious black garlic balsamic. My only word of warning is it is extremely addictive and if you're like me, you'll keep finding things you can use this versatile, tasty ingredient on.