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Old January 27, 2010   #1
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Default black garlic

Garlic in a whole new hue: black


lack garlic? Yes, in♪♫deed. It is nothing more than garden♪♫variety garlic, Alli♪♫um sativum, that is fermented with heat for 30 days and pack♪♫aged to sell for twice the price, but the taste is entirely differ♪♫ent. You can eat it raw or cooked without experiencing heartburn or garlic breath.

And while black garlic is not entirely new, it is most likely new to you.

First imported from South Korea by a California-based company,, in 2008, black garlic appeared in dishes at Bix in San Francisco and Le Bernardin in Manhat♪♫tan. It showed up among the in♪♫gredients on the Food Network’s Top Chef and Iron Chef America shows. And you may be inclined to try it at home in 2010.

Brian Han, who works in sales at, says the company’s initial intent was to market it as a “natural food medicine,” which is the other hot trend in home foods for 2010.

“It is high in antioxidants,” Han says, “but we found out that to get the benefit, you have to eat a whole lot of it.”

Soon after, Han says, “Bix restaurant used it on a lamb chop and everybody heard about it and that’s how we changed our marketing.”

At Fork restaurant in Philadelphia, chef Terence Feury, who abhors trends, says he got samples of black garlic in the summer of 2008 and used it in a sauce with roasted corn for his soft-shell crabs. Loved it, he said, but when the soft♪♫shell season ended, he some♪♫how never went back to it.

“That’s the way it is with some ingredients,” Feury says.

“Fennel pollen came and went.”

But black garlic is nothing to ho-hum about, Feury says. “It packs a lot of flavor into a small package. I really liked it.”

Just as kimchi is fermented cabbage, black garlic is garlic that has been fermented with heat.

“Nothing else,” says Han.

“No soy sauce added, like some people think.”

When heated at a fairly high temperature for 30 days, the natural sugar in the garlic is drawn out and the result is a bulb with a tan exterior and peeled cloves that are black.

(By the way, elephant garlic is a different variety, more closely related to a leek. It has a very mild garlic flavor and a texture that’s more like a potato.) Han says the company is moving toward buying more of the stuff from California grow♪♫ers instead of importing. For now, he sells it online fresh in bulbs, peeled in jars, as puree in jars, and as a concentrated juice for use in salad dressings and in cooking soups and stews. Peeling the cloves will leave a bit of residue under your fin♪♫gernails and on your cutting board. But black garlic is nowhere near as messy as salsi♪♫fy. (You remember salsify, of course. That was the “in” root vegetable of the year in 2006.

But salsify left a white, gooey substance on cutting surfaces, and added little in the way of flavor to compensate for the mess and bother.) “I love black garlic,” Philadelphia’s Zahav chef Michael Solomonov declared in a recent interview. He de♪♫scribes the sweet but savory taste as between tamarinds and dates.

Steep it in warm water for three to four days, he says, then puree before adding it to a recipe. That way, the flavor is not as pungent and won’t over♪♫whelm the dish.

Solomonov adds black garlic to the seasonings in ground veal for his grape leaves, but says it also works in soups. And he imagines making a black garlic ice cream when the weather warms up.

“Or steep in vodka for a Bloody Mary,” he says dreami♪♫ly.

I tried it at home several ways: spread on a cracker and topped with a bit of smoked salmon (great); sliced thin and baked into the crust of white pizza (very yummy); mashed and cooked briefly with bal♪♫samic vinegar and white wine as a sauce for seared scallops (see recipe) and blended with Amaretto and sherry as a poaching sauce for fresh nec♪♫tarines (see recipe).

My guests agreed that eating a sliver raw on a cracker is the best way to get to know the fla♪♫vor of this ingredient before cooking with it.

Black garlic is not a substi♪♫tute for white garlic. I didn’t try it in the classic Italian recipe Chicken with 40 Cloves of Gar♪♫lic, but my bet is that you’d want to use far fewer than 40 cloves, and the result would be an Asian, not an Italian, dish.


Makes 4 servings 4 ripe tangerines 2 cloves peeled black garlic, very finely chopped 3 ounces dry sherry 3 ounces almond liqueur (e.g.

Amaretto) ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel the tangerines, separate into segments and remove the seeds.

Put the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until simmering.

Add the tangerine segments and poach for 8 minutes.

Remove the tangerines and place them in a glass serving bowl.

Reduce the juices in the pan until a syrupy consistency is reached.

Pour the juices over the tangerines. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition per serving: 157 calories, 1 gram protein , 21 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams sugar, trace fat, no cholesterol, 3 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber


Makes 4 servings 16 extra-large scallops (about 1½ pounds), patted very dry Coarse salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons butter 3 cloves black garlic, thinly sliced ¼ cup white wine 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh parsley,

Season the dry scallops with salt and pepper.

Heat two tablespoons of the but♪♫ter in a large frying pan over high heat; when the butter bubbles, gently lay the scallops in the pan, allowing enough room so that they do not touch.

Sear the scallops, cooking about 4 minutes, turning once. They should be golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a serving platter. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the hot pan, plus the gar♪♫lic slices, and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the white wine and the balsamic vinegar into the pan and turn down the heat. Simmer for one minute, sea♪♫soning with more salt and pepper and the fresh parsley.

Pour the sauce over the scallops.

Or serve on a bed of linguine, tossed with extra virgin olive oil and chopped fresh herbs.

Nutrition per serving: 264 calories, 26 grams protein , 6 grams carbohydrates, trace sugar, 13 grams fat, 74 mil♪♫ligrams cholesterol, 456 mil♪♫ligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber
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Old January 27, 2010   #2
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Solomonov adds black garlic to the seasonings in ground veal for his grape leaves, but says it also works in soups.
Now that caught my eye I love stuffed grape leaves. I've been spending the last couple weeks planning my garden for this year and had been considering growing my own garlic. This black garlic sounds intriguing something I'd be tempted to try especially for chicken soup which we eat a lot of. Thanks, for sharing this article.
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Old January 27, 2010   #3
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I've seen this in Whole Foods, but didn't buy any, too expensive. And I had no idea if it was the real deal or not.
Thanks for the article, interesting!
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Old January 28, 2010   #4
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That was very interesting. It would be neat to see if somebody could do this at home.

Go to a local farmers market at the end of summer and pick up some hardnecks (I'm only gonna grow hardnecks from now on, seem to do better for me). That's how I got started, by buying 3 heads of Extra hardy German at my local Farmers market.

Zone 5 CNY
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Old January 13, 2020   #5
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This is a quite old thread, so I wonder if anyone here has been making the black garlic at home.

We have still quite a lot of uneaten garlic, which has to be used before it goes bad. After googling some instructions and checking my crock pot temperature I mentioned it to my husband and he said that we have an old industrial oven with good thermostat in his workshop. We set the thermostat to 70°C/158°F and I packed full heads of garlic into an oven proof plastic bag and unpeeled and peeled cloves to mason jars. I put some wrinkled baking paper on the bottom of the jars, so that the cloves will not be submerged, if any liquid is accumulating in the jars, but it may be totally unnecessary.

I have never tasted black garlic, but have heard that it is really good, so I just had to give it a try.

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Old January 13, 2020   #6
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I LOVE black garlic--- found some last year at Big Lots- a super buy at $6 fot a 8.5oz jar! Got all they had, then haven't been able to find any more since ! (Amazon has it -sort of pricey) the flavor is so different- not garlicky at all-- I love it finely chopped in whipped potatoes. (to chop it you have to keep dipping the knife in water. It has a sticky consistency like dates. It is easy to become addicted !
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