If you haven’t heard of black garlic, you are not the only one! Black garlic has been around for centuries, but it has gained popularity in the culinary world in recent years. The exact timeline of its popularity is a bit difficult to pinpoint, but it seems to have become more widely known and used in the early 2000s.
One of the early mentions of black garlic in the Western world was in a 2008 article in the New York Times, which described it as “sweet and tangy, with hints of balsamic vinegar and tamarind.” Since then, black garlic has been increasingly used by chefs and home cooks alike, and it has appeared on menus at high-end restaurants around the world.
Not only is it delicious, it is a nutrient dense super-food! It’s also super easy to prepare and cook with. Unfortunately, it’s not sold in most regular grocery stores, but if you make a trip to your local health food store or local farmers market, you’ll be sure to come across it eventually.
And by chance, if you don’t have much luck finding it in those places, you can always make it yourself! We will review that in this article as well! So lets jump in.
What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is a type of aged garlic that has been fermented under controlled conditions of heat and humidity for several weeks to months. The process of fermentation changes the color, texture, and flavor of the garlic, giving it a unique and complex taste that is different from fresh or roasted garlic.
During the fermentation process, the garlic cloves are kept at a temperature of around 140-170°F (60-75°C) with a relative humidity of 70-90%. The high heat and humidity cause the Maillard reaction to occur, which is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that results in the caramelization of the garlic and the formation of new compounds.
As a result of this fermentation, black garlic has a soft, jelly-like texture and a sweet, mild flavor with hints of molasses, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. The flavor profile of black garlic is often described as umami, which is a savory taste that is often associated with Asian cuisine.
Black garlic has become popular in the culinary world and is used as a flavoring agent in dishes such as sauces, marinades, and dressings. It is also used as a garnish or topping for dishes such as pizza or pasta.
In addition to its unique flavor, black garlic is also believed to have several health benefits. Some studies suggest that it may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties, although more research is needed to confirm these effects.
What Type of Health Benefits Does It Have?
Black garlic gets its origins from Korea, where it was developed as a health product several centuries ago. Prized today in Japan and Thailand, as well as Korea, black garlic is a relative newcomer to the U.S. mainstream market (since about 2008). It is now increasingly recognized for its unique taste as well as its health boosting properties. A growing body of research suggests there may be many benefits to adding this nutrient-rich food to your diet.
These potential benefits include contributing to:
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Repair of age-damaged skin
- Cardio-protective effects
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Prevention of diabetic complications
- Boost to the immune system
- Lowered the risk of cancer
- Therapeutic management of liver injury
- Increased levels of antioxidants
With black garlic having about twice the levels of antioxidants as raw garlic, this health-packed product won’t be in the dark long! Heightened levels of antioxidants provide protection from free radical damage. It’s those free radicals that damage cells, which can lead to circulatory problems, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases.
How Should I Eat Black Garlic?
I personally like to eat black garlic in its raw form, as to retain all of the health benefits. I typically blend it with some vinegar, oil, fresh herbs and some spices and drizzle it on top of a bed of greens. Here are 5 other recipes I think you’ll enjoy!
5 Delicious Recipes From Gradfood.com
This recipe shows you how to make amazingly crispy oven-baked potatoes and combines it with a sweet and savory Black Garlic sauce.
In conclusion, black garlic is an immune-boosting superfood that has gained popularity in recent years for its unique flavor and potential health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that may help improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health.
If you want to incorporate black garlic into your diet, there are many ways to prepare and eat it. You can add it to sauces, dressings, and marinades for a sweet and savory flavor, or you can eat it raw as a snack or garnish.
One of the best ways to enjoy black garlic is to roast it in the oven. Simply cut off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves, brush with a little olive oil, and roast at 400°F (200°C) for about 30-40 minutes, until the cloves are soft and caramelized.
Once the garlic is roasted, you can spread it on bread, add it to salads or soups, or use it as a topping for pizza or pasta. It’s a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and nutrition to a wide range of dishes.
In summary, black garlic is a delicious and nutritious ingredient that can be easily incorporated into your diet. Whether you roast it, sauté it, or eat it raw, this immune-boosting superfood is sure to add flavor and health benefits to your meals.