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.
Black garlic, with its unique flavour profile and nutritional benefits, can be a valuable ingredient for vegans and those following a plant-based diet. Its umami-rich taste and versatility can enhance the flavours of various vegan dishes, delivering that big brothy flavour without the use of bones. In this blog post, we'll explore how black garlic can elevate plant-based cuisine and provide ideas for incorporating it into vegan recipes.
1. Umami Flavour Boost: Black garlic's rich umami notes make it an excellent seasoning to enhance the depth and complexity of vegan dishes. Umami is considered the fifth taste, adding a savoury and satisfying element to food. By incorporating black garlic into plant-based recipes, you can achieve a more robust and savoury flavour profile that may be lacking in some vegan ingredients.
2. Sauces and Dressings: Black garlic can be used to create delicious vegan sauces and dressings. For example, blend black garlic cloves with plant-based mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a touch of salt to make a flavourful black garlic aioli. This can be used as a dip for vegetables, a spread for sandwiches, or a sauce for veggie burgers.
3. Vegetable Dishes: Black garlic pairs well with a variety of vegetables, adding depth and complexity to plant-based dishes. Toss sliced black garlic through roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, or cauliflower. The black garlic's sweet and savoury flavours can complement the natural sweetness of the vegetables, resulting in a more satisfying and flavourful dish.
4. Plant-Based Proteins: Black garlic can be used to enhance the flavours of plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Marinate these proteins in a mixture of minced black garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, and a dash of liquid smoke before grilling or pan-frying. The black garlic marinade adds an umami punch and caramelized sweetness to the proteins, making them more enticing and flavourful.
5. Vegan Soups and Stews: Black garlic can be a fantastic addition to vegan soups and stews, providing a depth of flavour. Add minced black garlic to your favourite vegetable-based soups or stews during the cooking process to infuse them with its umami-rich taste. The slow cooking allows the flavours to meld together, resulting in a hearty and satisfying dish.
6. Vegan Cheese Alternatives: Black garlic can also be incorporated into homemade vegan cheese alternatives. Blend soaked cashews or almonds with nutritional yeast, black garlic cloves, lemon juice, and salt to create a creamy and flavourful black garlic cheese spread. Use it as a dip, spread it on crackers, or incorporate it into vegan cheese-based recipes for an extra umami boost.
7. Vegan Pizza Toppings: Black garlic makes a delicious addition to vegan pizza. Start with your favourite base plus plant-based cheese, along with other toppings like roasted vegetables, olives, and fresh herbs. Add sliced black garlic to your pizza as it leaves the oven. Warming the black garlic adds a savoury and slightly sweet element to the pizza, elevating its flavour profile, without burning this beautiful ingredient.
Conclusion: Black garlic offers vegans and those following a plant-based diet an opportunity to enhance their dishes with its unique umami-rich flavour. By incorporating black garlic into sauces, dressings, vegetable dishes, plant-based proteins, soups, and even vegan cheese alternatives, you can create a variety of flavourful and satisfying plant-based meals. Experiment with different recipes and explore the ways in which black garlic can elevate your vegan culinary creations.
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.
Black garlic, with its unique flavour profile and rich umami notes, offers a wonderful opportunity to enhance your culinary creations. In this blog post, we'll explore some delicious recipes and flavour pairings that can help you make the most of this exceptional ingredient.
Black Garlic Butter: Black garlic butter is a versatile and delicious condiment that can be used in various dishes. To make it, simply blend softened butter with mashed black garlic cloves until well combined. This flavourful butter can be spread on bread, used to sauté vegetables, melted over grilled steak, or added to pasta dishes for a burst of savoury richness. Our black garlic butter image (on Pinterest) is our most popular pinned image!
Black Garlic Aioli: Upgrade your traditional aioli with the addition of black garlic. Mix mayonnaise, crushed black garlic cloves, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt until smooth and creamy. This black garlic aioli can be served as a dipping sauce for fries, a spread for sandwiches, or a tasty accompaniment to seafood and roasted vegetables. We offer a ready to go black garlic aioli if that tempts you.
Black Garlic Salad Dressing: Create a unique and tangy salad dressing by combining black garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and a touch of salt and pepper. This dressing pairs well with mixed greens, roasted beets, goat cheese, and toasted nuts, adding depth and complexity to your salads. Start with our White Balsamic Black Garlic dressing as your base.
Black Garlic Marinade: Black garlic can be used to make a flavourful marinade for meats and vegetables. Combine minced black garlic, soy sauce, honey, ginger, sesame oil, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Marinate your choice of protein or vegetables for a few hours or overnight before grilling, roasting, or stir-frying. The result is a tender and well-seasoned dish with a unique twist.
Black Garlic Pasta: Incorporate black garlic into your pasta dishes for a burst of flavour. Sauté minced black garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then toss it with cooked pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. For an extra touch, add roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of black garlic-infused olive oil. Go all out and add black garlic to your pasta dough.
Black Garlic Soup: Add depth and richness to your soups with black garlic. Sauté diced onions, carrots, and celery in a pot, then add vegetable or chicken broth, black garlic, and your choice of herbs and spices. Simmer until the flavours meld together, then blend until smooth for a velvety black garlic soup. Garnish with a swirl of cream or a sprinkle of fresh herbs.
Flavour Pairings: Black garlic pairs well with a range of ingredients, enhancing their flavours. Some excellent combinations include:
Cooking with black garlic opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to create dishes that are both delicious and unique. Whether you're making sauces, marinades, dressings, or incorporating it into pasta dishes or soups, black garlic's deep umami flavour and caramelized sweetness can elevate your culinary creations to new heights. So, get creative, you can let your imagination run wild.
Introduction: Black garlic, often referred to as "black gold," is a unique culinary ingredient that undergoes a fascinating transformation through a process known as ageing. This article delves into the art of ageing garlic and explores how time and controlled conditions turn ordinary garlic cloves into a prized delicacy.
Getting Started: A key first step is to grown beautiful white garlic. We use a purple hard neck Monaro garlic that grows well in our area. It is that beautiful garlic with white skins and fine purple veins that you see in quality fruit stores. This variety has an ideal sugar content producing beautiful full flavoured black garlic.
Understanding the Process: The transformation of garlic into black garlic involves a slow, natural oxidation process. Although often described as fermentation, which typically involves the action of microorganisms, black garlic is made through a controlled enzymatic reaction. Whole bulbs of garlic are placed in a humid, temperature-controlled environment, typically around 60°C, for an extended period, typically ranging from two to six weeks. This low and consistent heat triggers enzymatic reactions within the garlic, resulting in the gradual caramelization of natural sugars and Maillard reactions that give black garlic its characteristic dark colour, soft texture, and complex flavour profile.
Flavour and Aroma Profile: One of the most intriguing aspects of black garlic is its flavour and aroma. During the ageing process, the pungent and sharp flavours commonly associated with raw garlic mellow and transform into something entirely different. Black garlic offers a unique umami taste with hints of sweetness, tanginess, and even notes of balsamic vinegar and molasses. Its aroma is often described as earthy, with hints of garlic, caramel, and fermented fruits. These flavour and aroma profiles make black garlic a versatile ingredient that can enhance a wide range of dishes.
Culinary Uses: Black garlic's unique flavour profile makes it a prized ingredient in culinary creations. Its sweet, tangy, and umami taste can enhance both savoury and sweet dishes. Black garlic can add flavour in sauces, dressings, marinades, and soups. It can also be mashed and spread onto bread or incorporated into dips and spreads. Additionally, black garlic pairs well with meats, seafood, roasted vegetables, cheese and even desserts like chocolate or ice cream, adding depth and complexity to the overall dish.
Availability and Storage: While black garlic was once relatively uncommon and difficult to find, its popularity has grown, and it can now be purchased in specialty food stores, gourmet markets, or online. When purchasing black garlic, look for plump and soft cloves with a glossy, black exterior. Proper storage is essential to maintain its quality. It is best stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and can typically be kept for several years.
Conclusion: The art of ageing garlic into black gold is a remarkable process that transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary. Black garlic's unique flavour, aroma, and potential health benefits make it a sought-after ingredient for culinary enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike. Whether you use it to elevate your home-cooked meals or experiment with new and exciting recipes, black garlic is a culinary treasure that showcases the magic of time and transformation.
This is a wonderful authentic recipe from our friend and colleague, Fiona Aveyard of Outback Lamb - thanks Fiona!
Black garlic is new to me, but it has kind of become my "go-to" addition to basically everything, as it adds a real depth of flavour that can't be replicated by any other spice. You don't have to worry about garlic breath either, because it doesn't have that element. You can use pure black garlic powder (you won't need much of this!) or the black garlic cloves. Both can be used interchangeably for this recipe. I get my black garlic from @garliciousgrown and cannot recommend their products more highly.
I have made this casserole or stew many times. I sometimes will swap out diced shoulder for shanks depending on what I have available, both are equally delicious. Nigella Lawson recommends allowing 1 shank per person, then shredding the meat from the bones to make it go further. This is messy and you absolutely have to extract every bit of marrow from the bones, but always worth the effort. Six shanks would feed 10 using this method.
This casserole can be made up to 3 days ahead. Always cover and then refrigerate within 2 hours of making. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Always defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating. To reheat, take it out of the fridge, remove any fat from the surface and leave to come to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 170°C. Cook for around an hour and serve piping hot.
SERVES 8 -10
2 large onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons black garlic powder (plus 2 black garlic cloves if desired)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
250ml red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
750gm -1kg diced lamb
2 tablespoons cornflour
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Combine the cornflour and black garlic powder in a bowl, toss in the lamb and lightly coat.
Heat the oil and brown the floured lamb on the stovetop in batches. I do this in the casserole dish I'm using so the flavour remains. Remove the lamb and set aside.
Put the onions and (if you're using them, the black garlic cloves) in the same pan and cook for just a few minutes, or until the onion starts to soften.
Stir in the cumin seeds, ground allspice and cinnamon.
Turn the heat up to high, and then pour in the red wine. Let this bubble up again, making sure to scrape the bottom of the dish to lift any yummy crispy bits up. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes. Then fill each can with cold water from the tap and pour that in.
Stir in the salt and add the lamb back in, bring it again to a bubble, then place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven.
Cook for 4 hours. Season to taste. Top with chopped parsley to serve. Its ready now to serve to your guests, or you can let it cool, refrigerate and then freeze as required. Creamy mashed potatoes or else couscous would be an obvious accompaniment, or a chickpea and spinach salad is also nice. Whatever your preference, be sure to pile a plate high with lots of good, crusty, bread.
Looking for innovation and great flavour in your Christmas menu?
Here are three black garlic favourites - there may be one that just fits your meal planning. Remember black garlic does not leave black garlic breath - with its soft mellow sweet flavour and lovely garlic notes, your guests will be as lovely to know after Christmas dinner as before!
Cucumber and smoked salmon canapes are a drinks hit - very simple to prepare - just slice cucumber, add cream cheese, smoked salmon, a slice of black garlic and lemon to finish. Good black garlic cloves are soft and easy to slice, rather than rubbery. Recipe is here.
Chicken and black garlic are a fabulous match - this 40 Clove Chicken recipe may seem excessive, but the rich umami flavour of black garlic is fabulous. A simpler option could be to add black garlic cloves to any stuffing recipe.
You may like to finish with Malted Black Garlic Icecream. Surprisingly, black garlic is a great pair with sweet flavours - lovely in this malty rich icecream but also great with dark chocolate say in rich brownies.
Our black garlic white balsamic dressing or black garlic aioli can dress any salad or top seafood. At the moment they are bundled together in our Triple Treat special.
So, looking for an ecofriendly sustainable gift? Garlicious Grown Black Garlic Gift Packs are perfect for the 'difficult to buy for' friend, family member, teacher or neighbour. All Australian, from a rural small business, a black garlic gift pack can delight your loved one.
Our delicious black garlic has a WOW flavour that is versatile, healthy, Gluten Free, vegan-friendly (except aioli) and gender-neutral. It turns any meal into a gourmet wonder.
We're happy to include a personalised message for your loved one and send it directly to their home (just include in the notes to seller).
Take a look at our delicious and great value gift packs here. ❤️
Thanks to Susan Parsons for a terrific write up in the Canberra Times Food and Wine section sharing one of our favourite recipes. Lovely to feature there and also to read of other local delicacies.
Read all about it here
Spring is finally here, with the prospect of longer days and warmer nights - heavenly! Beautiful salads suddenly seem enticing and right for the season. Vibrant colours, plant-rich and super good too.
This Apple and Feta Salad with Pomegranates is beautifully coloured and showcases our Black Garlic White Balsamic Dressing beautifully.
Apple and Feta Salad with Pomegranates
Fuji apple - thinly sliced skin on
2 cups Mesclun salad greens
1/2 cup Rocket leaves
2 tbsp each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 Pomegranate - remove ruby seeds (known as arils) - method here
2 tbsp Garlicious Grown Black Garlic White Balsamic Dressing
Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with Garlicious Grown Black Garlic White Balsamic Dressing. Divide among individual plates, sprinkle with the feta, apple, seeds and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.
Seems an opportune moment to launch a special offer - 3 bottles dressing (usually $19.95 each) for the price of 2 (now $39.90). The dressing is sweet without being too syrupy and complex black garlic flavours and receives 5 star ratings. With a long shelf life, the pantry will be ready for Christmas entertaining. Available while stocks last.
Recent happy customer, Peter said "Love this product. Third time I have purchased it in past few months, Find i can use it for most of my cooking needs or simply as a dressing".
Next time a bottle of wine as a gift seems a good idea, do as our friends do, and take a bottle of Black Garlic White Balsamic Dressing. Gender neutral, widely appealing, gluten free and vegan friendly. The nutrition panel is below.
Enjoy the warming days - and get dressed for Spring!
Yes...a luxury moment having a sausage roll with french champagne. Where? It’s Bennelong’s suckling-pig sausage roll paired with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée 166ème Édition champagne for a mere $110.
Perhaps not your next night out but just think of how fabulously black garlic would go with a pork sausage roll. It's a rich flavour combination that you can do at home....food for thought isn't it! Don't forget to refresh your supplies