We’re all familiar with garlic. In fact, you have probably used it to cook many different dishes. However, the garlic we all use on a regular basis is white. So, what’s the deal with black garlic? Well, this is one of the most delicious and fascinating ingredients you can cook with. This exotic ingredient differs from the white variety in a number of ways – the price tag being one of the main differences! You can expect to pay a premium for black garlic, but many chefs and foodies will agree that it is worth it.
So, how does black garlic really differ from the white variety? Well, they actually have very little in common. Their culinary uses are different and their flavor profiles are contrasting, which is what makes black garlic so interesting.
You’re probably wondering how garlic can turn black. Well, this due to what is known as a Mallaird reaction. You don’t grow black garlic – it starts life as the white variety. What happens is that the garlic is fermented in the oven for 60 days. The term fermented is used loosely, though, as nothing is technically added to the garlic to turn it black. It is simply a chemical process that occurs when the garlic is in the oven for a set amount of time.
Now, the most important question of them all, what does black garlic taste like? Of course, it’s hard to describe a taste, but the best way to describe it would be to compare with aging cheese. We age cheese because we want to bring out the product’s unique flavors, enhancing them. This is pretty much what happens when garlic is cooked for such an extensive amount of time. Lingering flavors include balsamic vinegar and molasses, while the texture can be described as being similar to a jellybean, i.e. being a bit crispy on the outside and chewy inside. There is a delicate sweetness to black garlic, though – it is not as overpowering as you may assume. You can also buy black garlic powder to enhance the flavor of your meals. If you’re wondering where to buy black garlic, you can purchase it online and in speciality food stores.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Black Garlic?
Not only does black garlic taste amazing, but it offers a number of amazing health benefits as well. This includes the following:
- It can reduce obesity
Rising obesity rates are a problem we all know about. However, black garlic has been proven to significantly lower fat cell size, stomach fat, and body weight.
- It can reduce inflammation
In a human cell study, it was show that black garlic can lower inflammation through preventing the activation of nuclear factor kappa B.
- Black garlic is a strong antioxidant
When compared with fresh garlic, it is believed that black garlic is 10 times more effective as an antioxidant.
- It’s great for heart health
There have been a number of studies that have shown that black garlic can improve cholesterol in individuals that have mildly high cholesterol levels.
- Black garlic has anti-cancer properties
Black garlic has been associated with treating a number of different cancers, including stomach cancer and leukemia. There have been various studies on this.
Best Recipes To Enjoy With Black Garlic
By now, you probably want to try black garlic, right? But how should you incorporate into your meals? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of different ways you can enjoy this ingredient. Aside from popping the cloves straight into your mouth, here are some suggestions…
- Mix the crushed cloves into a homemade tomato sauce. You can use this in many ways, from a pizza sauce to a pasta sauce.
- Blend some cloves with mayonnaise to make a delicious garlic mayo.
- Slice thinly and use to top salads.
- Mash a few cloves into a meatball mixture. You can also add cloves to the likes of chilli, Bolognese, and other mincemeat dishes to enhance the flavour.
- Combine with herbs and cream cheese for a delicious dip.
If you want to try something truly unique, dip a clove of black garlic into melted dark chocolate! This won’t be for everyone, but a lot of people swear by it.
How To Find The Best Garlic Press For Your Black Garlic
It’s important to have the right utensils so that you can prepare your black garlic properly. There are lots of great tools and gadgets available for your kitchen these days, including a black garlic sous vide. However, before you move onto these items, you need to have a garlic press. Discover how to find the best one below:
Firstly, you need to consider what material you are going to purchase. Plastic variants tend to be cheaper, yet aluminium or stainless steel comes recommended because they are durable.
Secondly, think about the capacity. If you are going to be using a lot of garlic, you may want to go for something that holds a number of cloves at once. Aside from this, look for one with an ergonomic design so it’s easy to use.
How Do You Store Black Garlic?
Of course, when you are not cooking your black garlic, you will want to make sure you store it probably, especially when you consider how much it costs. So, let’s take a look at how to store black garlic. You can store black garlic at room temperature until the expiration date in an unopened package. However, once you have opened it, you should place it in the fridge, where it should last for at least three months. If you do not keep your garlic in the fridge once it has been opened, it will only last for around four weeks at the most.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should incorporate black garlic into your next meal. Not only does it taste delicious, but there are numerous health benefits associated with this ingredient too. Plus, it is always fun to try a new ingredient, right?
- Garlic: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning – WebMD
- How To Store Garlic – HowStuffWorks