Have you ever heard of black garlic?
I was just as surprised when I learned about it in France.
What is black garlic?
t is nothing else but the regular garlic, either Serbian domestic, or Chinese kind, except that it is aged and fermented.
What happens to it and causes its cloves to turn black is called the Maillard reaction. This is a chemical reaction between the amino acids and sugars, which causes the brown colour of the food exposed to this reaction, and of course, the reaction creates a specific flavour of it.
The same reaction occurs when we want to create brown skin on meat, i.e. to create crust on each side.
Where did black garlic come from?
Black garlic isn’t anything new, it was just far from us so we had never encountered it before. It comes from Korea and China, it is also used in Thailand a lot, as well as in the rest of Europe and the USA today.
This means it is one of the most important ingredients in Asian cuisine.
How to prepare it?
This is a usual kind of garlic, which was left to ferment for a period of time in controlled conditions. These are the temperature at which it should be kept- 60-90° Celsius and humidity: 80-90%.
The fermentation process turns the cloves black in time, and it may last up to a couple of weeks, causing the cloves to become partially or completely dehydrated.
Black garlic becomes sweeter in process, with balsamic note, and it no longer has the original strength. Thus, it doesn’t cause bad breath after consumption.
Also, it doesn’t feel heavy for stomach and digestion.
Consequently, all of the garlic fans here is something for you to try 🙂
What causes the loss of the original strength in the fermentation process?
One of the main enzymes of garlic is allicin. During the process, there is reduction in allicin.
I am so thankful for fermentation!
Now it is only left to teach the rest of the bus passengers to take the black garlic instead of the original one, and we’ve got it all.
Where can you get black garlic?
For now just here
Can you prepare it at home?
Good news is that the answer to this is a big YES.
What will you need?
Plenty of garlic bulbs, a pot for rice cooking, a pot for garlic fermentation and plenty of patience.
You could get a pot for cooking garlic in Metro, all WinWin shops and most of the online home goods stores.
There is also a special pot for garlic fermentation on Amazon (and it is not expensive).
It wouldn’t be like me if I didn’t drag that pot all the way back to Serbia with me as I came from France, wanting to import the existence of black garlic in our country as well.
My pot is very simple and it looks like this.
Get 15 garlic bulbs, undamaged. Shorten the petals, put them in the pot, program it to the time needed for fermentation (7-12 days in my case) and gather all the patience that you have.
Upon the expiration of the mentioned number of days, the machine will shut itself off, and all you are left to do is get the fermented garlic and store it until you need it.
How to use fermented black garlic?
I prepared a combination with oil and soy sauce, and I use it to spread it on the chicken or a different kind of meat before cooking.
My black garlic was completely dehydrated before I used it to create the paste. In order to make the paste I had to soak it in hot water for at least an hour and then I put it in blender with all other ingredients. The texture I got, in the end, is as is showed in the photo.
- For fans of hot flavours, add some chilo into my recipe
- You could grate it onto a salad or anything else, just like parmesan
- Make it with cream cheese, add green herbs (parsley, dill, sage, thyme) and use as a spreading
- Mix a clove or two with mayo and serve with burgers.
- Also mix it in with mileram or sour cream, add lemon juice or light balsamic vinegar and olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.
- Make confit- cook dehydrated black garlic in enough fat to cover it at a low temperature until it softens and then make a sauce (mixing it)
- You could add it to your favourite ice cream mixture
How healthy is it?
Black garlic fermentation reduces allicin, transforming it from an unstable to a stable component, becoming a great anti-oxidant. It also has ten times the strength of the fresh garlic.
Can reduce liver damage, reduces blood pressure, can diminish soreness (improves blood circulation) and reduces the possibility of blood getting clotted.
It is one of the best ingredients for weight reduction, to combat against belly fat and the size of the fat cells.
Black garlic fights the colon and stomach cancer and it is used in leukemia treatments.
It is considered toxic towards the cancer cells.
Heart can benefit a lot from this kind of garlic. It has a positive effect on good cholesterol.
None are known at the moment to be medically proved. There have been rare cases of pneumonia but it is not confirmed that black garlic consumption was a cause of it.
Difference between fresh and black garlic
During the Maillard reaction, there is an increased amount of glucose and fructose in black garlic. That is why it tastes so sweet.
It is a better anti-oxidant and it is better for fighting the inner organs cancers
Black garlic has stronger anti-inflammatory characteristics because of the lower sugar levels
All of the good and the bad sides of black garlic are found on the internet.
Give or take, both kinds are very good for you, just that the black garlic is a little bit better 🙂