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.