Fermented garlic, Is there kiss-proof garlic? The answer is yes and it is called black garlic: garlic with a delicate flavour and an incredible nutritional profile, created a few years ago in Korea through an oxidation and fermentation process. Let’s find out what black garlic is, how it is produced and how to use this particular ingredient in the kitchen.
A niche product but destined to be talked about, fermented garlic is a very young ingredient, born in Korea in 2004 and soon spread to Europe and the United States. It is a “simple” white garlic subjected to a double process, fermentation and oxidation: it is precisely this process that guarantees black garlic not only in its characteristic colour but also a delicate flavour and a pleasant aftertaste with a liquorice scent.
A very particular ingredient, more digestible than white garlic, with strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties: black garlic is rich in mineral salts and does not leave that characteristic and not exactly sweet taste in the mouth. Let’s get to know black garlic better, see why and how to use it.
What is black garlic
Black garlic is fermented garlic, a “simple” white garlic whose bulbs are subjected to a particular process that combines fermentation and oxidation, a process in which the garlic takes on its characteristic dark colour and a soft, almost rubbery consistency. It was born in Korea (where fermentation is a widespread practice and used in the kitchen), in the near 2004 and, in a very short time, it spread to the United States and Europe, in particular to Great Britain and Spain, where it is produced and sold on a large scale.
Considered a real superfood, black garlic has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, it helps us to control and lower cholesterol levels in the blood and, a factor not to be underestimated, it does not have that pungent taste and smell typical of garlic: it is in short, breath-proof and kiss-proof. It has a sweetish taste and a balsamic aftertaste that recalls the scent of liquorice and, in part, of soy sauce, characteristics that make it not only sweet but also particularly versatile. In Italy it is still a niche ingredient: it is not easy to find it on the market and the sale takes place mostly online.
How it is prepared
The processing of black garlic takes place in two phases: at first, which lasts 30 days, the fresh garlic bulbs are left to ferment in humid environments at a controlled temperature, while in the second phase they undergo an oxidation process for a further 45 days.
In the second stage of processing the garlic acquires its characteristic dark colour and soft, almost rubbery consistency, thanks to the formation of a substance called melanoidin with strong antioxidant properties. The processing of fermented garlic, without adding additives or preservatives, on the one hand, reduces, compared to simple white garlic, the quantities of allicin, but on the other hand, it guarantees a higher concentration of antioxidant substances, almost double phosphorus and seven times the calcium and protein values.
How to use it in the kitchen
Black garlic is distinguished by a delicate flavour and a pleasantly balsamic aftertaste, less strong and pungent than the better known white garlic. In the kitchen it is versatile and easy to use: just like white garlic, fermented garlic can in fact be used both raw and cooked in any type of preparation.
Excellent simply spread on a slice of crispy bread, fermented garlic goes very well with fish dishes, but also with vegetables and white meat: you can use it to revisit the great classics of the kitchen, from a timeless spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli to a fragrant and genuine garlic mackerel. Try it in a fragrant vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh ginger and your salads will take on an edge.