Written by Kevin Kapusi Starow
Black what?????? No, it is not a product which is past its used by date or gone bad. Rather black garlic is a fermented product, some refer to it as aged. Though with technology what it is today you can make black garlic within a few days. Though in bygone days it would have taken several weeks or months, with the correct climate to produce.
Black garlic ranges in colour from a dark brown through to a deep black, with an intensely sweet aroma. You may have even seen black garlic at your local farmers' market, grocer or even the supermarket. Though not knowing or understanding how to use it, just passed it up.
Yes, you are correct, you cannot use, or should not use this product in the same way you would your normal garlic clove. So let's delve a little into what this product is, and how it can be used in our day to day cooking.
Black garlic originates from across Asia, from Korea, through to Cambodia and Thailand. Where it is revered for its health-giving qualities, from extending one’s longevity to improving the immune system. In Cambodia it is believed to increase penile length and girth, is best consumed in the early morning, prior to breakfast. Not quite sure how they managed to deduce that condition.
Traditionally garlic is fermented in pots in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. Humidity at around 80%, and heat at approx. 60c, and left to ferment for extended periods. Though today this same process can be replicated in just under a week, with the appropriate equipment.
Contrary to popular belief there are no additives or burning required in the fermentation process. The combination of temperature and humidity work together to break down the enzymes within the garlic, producing a dark colour and sticky caramel like texture.
Since its rise in popularity amongst western nations, this little black treat has found its way into many popular western recipes. We find it in salads, as an additive in mayonnaise, or an aioli. It is also a subtle touch in a vinaigrette, which once added created a more complex, though highly enjoyable experience.
Be aware that black garlic is somewhat milder, in taste than normal garlic cloves. So you will require greater amounts of the black garlic than normal garlic, for that flavour punch. Though black garlic will never be able to replace the taste of white garlic as the flavour profile has been changed.
Personally, I like to add cloves of black garlic to my sourdough bread dough. As I kneed, the flavour and colour are spread throughout the dough. Then once it cooks, there is an even spread throughout the loaf, that produces an enjoyable flavour punch.
The best thing to do, if I was you, or what I recommend you to do. Go out and buy some black garlic, or you can make some yourself, the recipe will be below. First taste it as it is, then thinks about how you can incorporate this ingredient into your cooking.
I am sure you will come up with many ways to use it, oh and don’t be sure let us know how you go and what recipes work for you.
As with all crustaceans, which is the classification the marron falls into, they are high in Omega 3 fatty acids.
More importantly, they are plentiful in good mono and polyunsaturated fats, are high in protein and have beneficial minerals such as zinc, copper, iron and magnesium.
Again, for me this is an added benefit, it is the taste and texture that draws me to prefer the marron over other seafood.