Black Garlic: What is It and How to Use It

What is Black Garlic?
The ingredient, which has long been present in Asian cuisine and medicine, has only recently flourished worldwide. The chefs are simply fascinated by the garlic, which has a perfectly creamy taste, like dates, and quite different from the taste of ordinary garlic. Although it is a very simple food – ordinary garlic that has aged for several weeks in controlled conditions – it has been well known for centuries in Japan, Korea and Thailand.  In the last ten years it has gained world fame, and now it is an unavoidable part of the recipes of world-famous chefs.

In addition to being much tastier than ordinary garlic, it also has much greater health benefits.
Black garlic has twice the dose of antioxidants, which are known to reduce free radicals in the body, is rich in phytonutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also great for the immune system as well as improving cardiovascular function. Black garlic is good for balancing blood sugar and reduces triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Although it has a reduced amount of allicin compared to ordinary garlic, it still has healing properties. This simple ingredient, that can be added to all meals, is rich in protein, fiber, iron and vitamin C.

black garlic

Black garlic is so popular that it can now be found in supermarkets, but you can also make it at home.
It is ordinary garlic that has aged for some time in controlled conditions (humidity, temperature). It is important that these conditions are strictly adhered to, in order to achieve a perfect creamy, sticky texture. The process is very simple, but requires time – weeks or even months.

When garlic is stored at high temperatures, there is a change in texture and color.
Then the Maillard reaction occurs, which is driven by heat, and during which a chemical reaction takes place between the amino acids and the sugars in the food, so that it turns brown. Maillard reaction can be seen in other examples: grilled meat, toast, french fries with a brownish, crispy crust. During this process, the garlic changes color and texture, as well as the taste, which now actually resembles caramelized garlic.

You can use black garlic in various ways.

Practically as well as ordinary garlic – only maybe in larger quantities, because it a much milder taste than the ordinary one. When black garlic is kept at high temperatures in a humid environment for weeks, the enzymes that give strength to fresh garlic are broken down, which is why the black one has a much milder taste than ordinary garlic.

Suggestions on how you can use this super food.

  • Cheese plate: In addition to various fruits (fresh and dried), jams, bruschettas and spreads, add a few prices of black garlic to the cheese plate; you can also make sauce / puree (mashed black garlic, olive oil, white wine 

  • and butter, stir until you get a consistent paste)
  • Various salads: Mash black garlic, mix it with olive oil, and add this mixture to salads, as a dressing
  • Meat dishes: Black garlic goes especially well with chicken, as a marinade or paste to coat grilled chicken (mix mashed black garlic and butter and coat the grilled chicken with this spread)
  • Soups: It is best to add black garlic powder to soups and potages
  • Pasta: Add black garlic and white wine to all types of pasta
  • Sauces: Add this super ingredient to sauces such as tomato sauce, ranch sauce, mushroom dip or cheese dip (it goes especially well with old cheeses that have a strong, creamy taste), hummus (add ground black garlic to this spread instead of plain garlic to make it taste savory)

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