In the world of gastronomy, food trends come and go with the changing seasons, but some culinary innovations have the power to endure and captivate the taste buds of food enthusiasts across the globe. One such innovation that has risen from relative obscurity to become a culinary trendsetter is black garlic. This dark, aromatic, and flavourful ingredient has taken the culinary world by storm, making its way into dishes from Michelin-starred restaurants to home kitchens. Let's explore the fascinating journey of black garlic from an unknown ingredient to a culinary sensation.
The Mysterious Transformation
Black garlic is not a distinct garlic variety but rather regular white garlic that has undergone a unique fermentation process. We do understandably, get phone calls from people asking to purchase “black garlic seed”! This process is said to have originated in Asia, particularly in countries like Korea, Japan, and Thailand. Although the exact origins remain shrouded in mystery, it is believed to have been discovered accidentally centuries ago when garlic bulbs were left to oxidise in a warm and humid environment.
During oxidation, the garlic undergoes a complex series of chemical reactions. The transformation from pungent white cloves to soft, dark, and sweet bulbs takes place over several weeks to months. The garlic's natural sugars caramelize, and its harsh, sulphuric compounds mellow out, resulting in a sweet and savoury flavour profile with hints of balsamic vinegar and tamarind. The texture becomes tender and jelly-like, making it easy to spread or incorporate into various dishes.
The Culinary Renaissance
For years, black garlic remained a well-kept secret, used more as an Asian health supplement than a gourmet flavour addition. However, as the global food scene evolved and embraced more diverse flavours and ingredients, black garlic began to garner attention outside of its traditional roots.
One of the key factors contributing to its rise is the growing interest in umami-rich ingredients. Umami, often described as the fifth taste, is characterized by a savoury, deep, and complex flavour. Black garlic's transformation intensifies its umami properties, making it a coveted ingredient among chefs seeking to elevate their dishes. Its ability to enhance the depth of flavours in a wide range of cuisines—from Italian to Thai—has propelled it into the spotlight.
Versatility in the Kitchen
One of the most appealing aspects of black garlic is its versatility. It can be used in various forms, including whole cloves, paste, or as a seasoning. Chefs and home cooks alike have found creative ways to incorporate it into their culinary creations.
1. **Condiment**: Black garlic paste can be spread on bread, used as a dipping sauce, or blended into salad dressings for an extra layer of flavour.
2. **Marinades**: It makes an excellent addition to marinades for meats, seafood, or vegetables, infusing them with its sweet and savoury notes.
3. **Soups and sauces**: Black garlic can be used to enrich broths, soups, and sauces, lending a unique depth to the final dish.
4. **Pasta and rice**: Add minced black garlic to pasta sauces or stir-fried rice for a gourmet touch.
5. **Burger and sandwich topping**: Elevate your burgers or sandwiches by adding a slice of black garlic for a delightful twist.
Health Benefits and Nutritional Value
Beyond its culinary appeal, black garlic is also valued for its potential health benefits. It is believed to be rich in antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest that the oxidation process may enhance the bioavailability of certain nutrients in garlic, making them easier for the body to absorb.
While it's essential to remember that black garlic is still garlic and should be consumed in moderation, its potential health perks have added to its popularity among health-conscious consumers.
The journey of black garlic from relative obscurity to culinary trend is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the food industry. Its transformation from a humble ingredient to a sought-after delicacy reflects our ongoing exploration of diverse flavours and our appreciation for the complex, umami-rich experiences that food can offer.
You asked so here is the answer!
Having just finished three days at the Good Food and Wine Show, this is a common question. Garlic is a versatile ingredient used in cuisines around the world for its pungent flavour and numerous health benefits. However, black garlic has emerged as an intriguing alternative to regular garlic, offering a distinct taste and potential additional advantages. In this blog post, we'll compare black garlic and regular garlic, exploring their differences in flavour, nutritional content, and culinary use.
Regular Garlic: Fresh garlic is known for its sharp, pungent, and sometimes spicy flavour. It has a pronounced "bite" that can vary in intensity depending on the variety and freshness of the garlic. When cooked, regular garlic develops a mellow and slightly sweet flavour.
Black Garlic: Black garlic undergoes a oxidation process that transforms its flavour profile. We take beautiful hard neck ‘Monaro Purple’ garlic with white flesh through a 30 day low slow “cook” to transform to black garlic. The pungency and spiciness of regular garlic are mellowed, giving way to a unique combination of savoury umami, caramel-like sweetness, and hints of balsamic and molasses. Garlic notes come through the flavour after the initial sweetness. Black garlic offers a more complex and subtle flavour compared to regular garlic.
Regular Garlic: Fresh garlic is highly regarded for its nutritional value. It is a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, and selenium. Garlic is also known for containing sulphur compounds, such as allicin, which is associated with various health benefits, including potential immune-boosting and cardiovascular effects.
Black Garlic: While the transformation of white to black garlic cause some changes in its nutritional composition, it still retains several beneficial compounds found in regular garlic. Black garlic has higher antioxidant levels than fresh garlic, offering enhanced antioxidant benefits. Additionally, black garlic contains S-allyl cysteine, a compound associated with heart health benefits. The reduced allicin levels make black garlic more easily digested.
Regular Garlic: Fresh garlic is widely used in cooking for its strong flavour and aroma. It is a staple in lots of savoury dishes, including stir-fries, sauces, soups, marinades, and roasted or grilled meats and vegetables. The pungency and spiciness of regular garlic can add depth and character to a wide range of recipes.
Black Garlic: Black garlic's unique flavour makes it a versatile ingredient for culinary experimentation. Don’t use it in place of fresh garlic – don’t chop finely and fry off early in a dish. All you will have is little burnt black dots! Add black garlic towards the end of a dish, stirring through pasta or risotto. The warmth will bring out the rich flavour offering that finishing touch to your cooking. Black garlic pairs well with both savoury and sweet ingredients, making it suitable for sauces, dressings, pasta dishes, risottos, and even desserts. Its rich umami notes can enhance the complexity of flavour creating a memorable dish.
Regular Garlic: Fresh garlic bulbs have a relatively short shelf life. They can typically be stored for a few weeks to a couple of months when kept in a cool, dry place. However, they may begin to sprout or deteriorate over time.
Black Garlic: Black garlic has a significantly longer shelf life compared to regular garlic. The oxidation process contributes to its stability, allowing it to be stored for several years. Proper storage in a cool and dry environment helps maintain the quality and flavour of black garlic.
While regular garlic and black garlic both have their unique qualities, they offer distinct flavours and culinary experiences. Regular garlic provides a bold and pungent taste, while black garlic offers a more complex and sweet umami profile. Additionally, black garlic retains beneficial compounds found in regular garlic and provides enhanced antioxidant and heart health benefits. Whether you choose regular garlic for its robust flavour or black garlic for its intriguing taste and potential additional advantages, both varieties can be valuable additions to your culinary repertoire.
We are acutely aware of Australia's concerns about COVID-19 as announcements increase about the risks of public gatherings. In our immediate area, this means the cancellation of the lovely Handmade Canberra market next weekend 21-22 March. This is understandable and disappointing for us and our customers. It seems an opportune time to remind us all about the established general health benefits of black garlic and to wish everyone good health at this difficult time.
At the outset, let's be crystal clear: there is NO evidence garlic or black garlic has prevented acquiring COVID-19 (despite some of the claims on the web). There is however reputable evidence about the general daily health benefits from eating garlic, and black garlic in particular. It is easier to eat black garlic daily (rather than fresh garlic with its pungent odour and harsh gastric effects). Black garlic can be eaten as a daily treat, perhaps under your poached eggs or eaten as a daily clove to boost wellness.
So what are the benefits?
§BIG flavour (soft & sweet) that’s healthy
§10x the antioxidants of raw garlic* with anti-inflammatory effects
§Reduces Blood Pressure*
§No Garlic Breath
§Anti-allergy* – reduces the physiology of allergic responses
Reference: *Kimura S. et al “Black Garlic: A Critical Review of it’s Production, Bioactivity & Application”. The Journal of Food & Drug Analysis. 2017:25;62-70.
You can read more here (Kimura paper) and on our review of the science of black garlic. We offer bulk tubs of unpeeled black garlic cloves, perfect for your daily health boost.
Recent Australian reviews have highlighted the rise of "health consciousness" in terms of a series of health indicators. So what is changing:
Artisan, chemical free, healthy food is available from great Australian businesses - please take advantage of what they offer!
There are always new trends in diets but one that is gaining more and more traction in Australia is veganism. Veganism is a stricter form of vegetarianism; not only do adherents eschew any killed animal products in their diets they avoid animal products altogether, essentially no eggs, dairy products or honey.
In 2018, search interest in ‘vegan’ information was at an all-time high in Australia. In fact, Google Trends analysis of searches for the word vegan across the globe during 2018 showed Australia had the highest percentage of all searches done.
Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth all scored spots in the global list of top vegan cities, coming in at fifth, sixth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
The top vegan-related queries on Google are for animal-free recipes and food, while rising in frequency are searches regarding Hungry Jack’s vegan burger and Domino’s non-dairy cheese — two major vegan fast-food options that launched in 2018.
With the United Nations warning that a global shift towards vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change it is probably time to consider adding vegan items to your product line-up.
With thanks, www.foodprocessing.com.au
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY 2019 from your Aussie home grown suppliers of GARLICIOUS GROWN award winning black garlic ! From the rich soils and crisp nights of the Southern Tablelands comes black garlic cloves that have been awarded a gold medal with 94.67 points of 100! Our score was the highest in any class and we feel is a true endorsement of the quality of our pure Australian black garlic. Gourmands, chefs, vegans, those with gluten free requirements, and families all over the world enjoy https://www.garliciousgrown.com.au/buy-direct.html
Phone +61 (0)428216878
WHY BLACK GARLIC ? Since medieval times, Garlic has been used to treat ailments. It stimulates white blood cell activity to FIGHT INFECTION and COLDS. In fact, some studies indicate that garlic fights infections that are resilient to some antibiotics. Award winning caramelised preparation of garlic using controlled temperature and humidity produces tarry BLACK CLOVES. No additives, extra ingredients or preservatives, just pure garlic, and NO GARLIC BREATH ! And the TASTE ? "A delicious umami wow factor and a sweet savouriness ",Christine Manfield, chef, author and culinary ambassador. Use Garlicious Grown black garlic on everything from smashed Avo to soups, roasts, garlic butter and cheese platters. STOCK YOUR PANTRY HERE; https://www.garliciousgrown.com.au/buy-direct.html