Few items in the grocery store from a distance as mysterious as black garlic. His cloves are darkwrinkled and soft, and the bulbs of the stuff are usually quite expensive. Also black garlic has a funky, slightly sweet smell, and in general it just doesn’t look like something you would normally want to consume. Othe hat is black garlic, and what are you supposed to do with it?
Black garlic, explained
Black of garlic starts life like your regular white garlic. The bulbs are gently heated in a humidity-controlled environment, usually for a long time, from three weeks later. During this time, not only do the cloves turn dark brown or black, but the pungent, almost spicy flavor of garlic you’re used to turns into something a lot softer, with notes of what some people compare it to molasses. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description, as it has an earthy sweetness to it, and almost none of the allium punch that is associated with garlic.
The darkest the color is the result of Maillard’s reactiona chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids in garlic and sugar during the aging process. Maillard’s reaction also lends black garlic a distinctly savory flavor, which makes it such an interesting and complex product ingredient. It has been a trendy ingredient among chefs over the yearsprized for its sweet flavors of Garlicsweetness and umami.
How to use black garlic?
Many people seem to be intimidated by black garlic. It’s not visually friendly (yes, I know what you think it looks like), and since it’s not a household staple, you might not know what to do with it right away. I promise it’s not scary. In reality, it’s damn delicious.
Luckily, it’s a very easy ingredient to use, as it’s edible right out of the package, and tits cloves are very soft, ready to spread on stuff like toast. One of my favorite things to do it’s pureeing it and simply mixing it with mayonnaise. You can use this black garlic mayonnaise on sandwiches or in sweet and savory component in a dip or finishing sauce. Black garlic is also a great addition to homemade dressings.
You have to be careful though: black of garlic delicate flavor can easily be overwhelmed by other ingredients. Since it’s relatively expensive, you don’t want it getting lost in a dish. by combining it with more aggressive seasoning. Starches and meat make excellent blank canvases for black garlic to shine. It also comes in powder form, which you can use a little more aggressively to season sauces, soups, stews and seasonings by adding a natural boost of umami flavor.
If you ever see it at the grocery store, don’t walk away from it. I have a feeling you will find a good use for this versatile ingredient. in some of your favorite dishes. Don’t forget to tell me how it goes.