Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at half an ounce from Central Asia, please welcome white garlic! His opponent, weighing in at just under half an ounce from Korea, please welcome black garlic!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – WHITE GARLIC
Our champion comes to us from the grasslands of Asia and northeastern Iran. For over 5,000 years people in China, India, Egypt and Asia have used this pungent onion to add flavor to their food. White garlic today is found everywhere around the world (except perhaps in vampire movies.) Its’ health benefits are numerous, though cut or crush it and watch out! An enzyme in it is then converted into a compound called allicin. This both gives our champ his pungent odor as well as his health benefits (anti-cancer, good for the heart and blood, rich in antioxidants, etc). But don’t let the white garlic’s placid demeanor fool you. Wash your hands thoroughly after going a few rounds with him in the kitchen. Otherwise the next time you touch your eyes or use the rest room, you’ll regret it!
In the Blue Corner – BLACK GARLIC
Critics of today’s challenger accuse him of having a drinking problem. But black garlic isn’t dark because of being pickled. Rather the sugars in the clove undergo a chemical reaction called Maillard. Think of it as similar to aging cheese or roasting coffee at more mild temperatures (around 155 F / 68 C) for a longer period of time (3 to 4 weeks). Akin in appearance and flavor to balsamic vinegar, our champ claims to be a super food in every sense of the word. However our challenger is higher in calories, fructose, glucose, and antioxidants. It is lower though in allicin and vitamin C. Some chefs have said that black garlic is just a novelty item to put on expensive restaurant menus. But this secret ingredient is both sweeter and less pungent, making it a more friendly option for food-lovers that just can’t take white garlics strong smell and taste.
- The Play-By-Play
The champ lands body blow after body blow on black garlic, showing no mercy throughout round one. Curiously the first few rows in the spectator stands are completely empty, almost as if the strong fragrance of this sweet sport is too much for our fans.
AND THE WINNER IS….
It is a tie! Both forms of garlic have numerous health benefits, and the differences are offset by the advantages of each. If you’re not a big garlic fan, give black garlic a shot and see if you can finally appreciate what garlic lovers rave about.