Black garlic is finding its way into all sorts of four star chefs' kitchens, and The Spice House is excited to begin carrying it, for those of you who want to experiment with it in your own recipes.
Created by aging and fermenting raw garlic, black garlic cloves are slightly gummy and bursting with umami. The harsh astringency of raw garlic is tempered during fermentation to create a sweet, salty, earthy taste. Rich and addictive, black garlic can be eaten straight (it's often consumed for its health benefits) or added to dishes from garlic noodles to lemon cookies.
Our black garlic is grown and processed in Korea, where black garlic has been prized for flavor and healthfulness for centuries. After the raw garlic is harvested, it is treated with heat and humidity for over a month to ferment it into black garlic. The black color comes from the melanoidins that are a product of the reaction between the sugar and amino acids naturally present in garlic. Through this process of fermentation, the non-volatile ingredients in raw garlic are preserved.
Rich in antioxidents, black garlic is still primarily seen as a health supplement in Korea. But it's the flavor that's making it the ingredient of choice for high end chefs in America, including Matthias Merges of Charlie Trotters in Chicago. The staff at The Spice House tasted the samples sent to us, and devoured two whole bulbs in a matter of minutes. Because this is a relatively new ingredient, recipes using it range from salad dressing to risottos to tapenades and everything in between. Its complexity of flavor lends itself well to Asian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines - experiment to find out where you like it!
Black garlic is sold in clear cellophane pouches containing two whole bulbs of garlic. Although it is shelf stable and does not technically require refrigeration, due to its high moisture content it can mold if kept in a sealed container exposed to sun or heat. Refrigeration is recommended to avoid this. Will keep about a year.