Black Garlic History
Black Garlic - “caramelized” garlic browned through a natural process known as the Maillard Reaction. Its rich flavor was first used as an ingredient in Asian cuisine.
What is the Mallard Reaction?
The Maillard Reaction occurs by heating whole bulbs of garlic over the course of several weeks, resulting in black cloves.
Here is a more detailed description of this natural processing:
Black garlic is made when heads of garlic are aged under specialized conditions of heat and humidity. Bulbs are kept in a humidity-controlled environment at temperatures that range from 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (60 - 77ºC) for 14 to 40 days. There are no additives, preservatives, or burning of any kind. The enzymes that give fresh garlic its sharpness break down. Those conditions also facilitate the Maillard reaction, the chemical process that produces new flavor compounds responsible for the deep taste of seared meat and fried onions, the cloves turn black and develop a sticky date-like texture.
How would you describe the taste of Black Garlic?
The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic vinegar or tamarind. Black Garlic has become a sought after ingredient in high-end cuisine as its popularity in the United States has grown.
Black Garlic –Healthy Reputation:
Black Garlic is prized as a food rich in antioxidants. In Thailand, it is claimed to increase the user’s longevity. In Korea, black garlic was developed as a health product and is still recognized as a health supplementary food. In Taoism mythology, Black Garlic was thought to bestow immortality. Today, Black Garlic is added to energy drinks due to its antioxidants.
Black Garlic –Culinary Uses:
Chefs at highly respected restaurant across the country are readily using Black Garlic. The New York Times termed Black Garlic, “a new staple of Modern cuisine” incorporating its flavor into a recipe “Black Garlic Roast Chicken.” The softened Garlic flavor of Black Garlic has many uses including soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, flavored mayonnaise or as a special flavoring added to a meat or vegetable dish.