Imagine a garlic that is rich and full of flavor like molasses, has all the health benefits of garlic– and more– and doesn’t give bad breath, upset stomach, or any other nuisances associated with the raw version. Meet black garlic, an ancient form of (semi) fermented garlic. Black garlic gives amazing health benefits including increased immune function, improving cardiovascular health, and reducing inflammation.
The garlic is not actually fermented– in the technical sense, it does not undergo the same reactions that fermented foods do, however it does undergo a process of reactions, involving– well, just garlic. Black garlic is produced by placing whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment in temperatures of about 140 to 170 degrees F for 30 days. Once out of the heat, the bulbs are then left to oxidize in a clean room for 45 days. This lengthy process causes the garlic cloves to turn black and develop a soft, chewy texture with flavors reminiscent of “balsamic vinegar” and “soy sauce.”
Where can you find the stuff? With increased popularity from health food aficianados, black garlic is now available at some local whole foods or other health food stores. It can also be found in some Korean grocery stores.
Author: Erin Silva Winston