WHAT IS BLACK GARLIC?
This Korean delicacy is regular garlic that’s been cured under specific conditions resulting in a less pungent, sweeter taste. Its texture is similar to that of a dried fig. Much like with prosciutto or dry-aged steaks, the temperature and humidity are controlled during an aging period of weeks or even months. Basically the older it gets, the less garlicky it tastes! This unique flavor is due to the Maillard effect (a chemical reaction that occurs before caramelization). Often compared to molasses or balsamic vinegar, black garlic is now a mainstream delicacy in high-end Western cuisine as well.
WHY IS BLACK GARLIC GOOD FOR YOU?
It has double the amount of anti-oxidants as traditional white garlic for starters. And while black garlic has a slightly less allicin as its white predecessor, it’s richer in fiber and iron. However black garlic is also lower in vitamin C and higher in calories.
WHEN IS BLACK GARLIC IN SEASON?
Being made from white garlic it has the same growing season. North of the equator they’re a March to September crop (February to May in the southern hemisphere). The bulbs though can take up to 8 months to fully form. Both a Fall and a Spring planting are possible.
HOW SHOULD BLACK GARLIC BE STORED?
This is a lower moisture, dried ingredient and so should be stored in a cool, dark place in your cupboard. Once a clove is opened though refrigerate for up to a few weeks.
CAN BLACK GARLIC BE USED IN DESERT RECIPES?
With its milder, almost smoky flavor black garlic can lend an earthy but sweet flavor to certain recipes. However you might want to keep it as a secret ingredient. Otherwise people who otherwise would’ve loved your recipe, upon hearing “garlic” will suddenly pull a gastronomical version of pareidolia (perception of a pattern that isn’t there, like when people play music backwards and hear voices). For a great example, check out this black garlic chocolate cake!