fermented garlic

Our Fermented Garlic Guide

What is this weird black-looking thing? It’s fermented garlic – also called Black Garlic! It is made from fresh garlic that has been fermented for a period of time at a controlled temperature as well as a controlled humidity. If you taste them you will get a surprise. It has a sweet taste, and its consistency is chewy and jelly-like.

While black garlic seems to be a new phenomenon, it’s been around and in use for centuries, like other fermented foods. The precise origins are unclear, but for sure it started in Asia long before it became a bit more mainstream in the west.

Because the allicin in the garlic gets reduced in the fermentation process black garlic actually doesn’t have as strong a flavor as fresh garlic does. The allicin is instead turned into antioxidant compounds such as bioactive alkaloids and flavonoids.

Several studies have shown that black garlic serves purposes as above antioxidation, anti-allergic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammation and has anti-carcinogenic effects. In 1990 black garlic was actually listed as one of the top cancer-fighting candidates by the Designer Food Programs.

How to make it yourself

You can make black garlic by using a dehydrator or a slow cooker. The process takes a few weeks, but the results are worth the effort.

If you use a dehydrator
1 – Wrap a head of garlic in plastic, then in several layers of tinfoil.
2 – Cover the garlic to trap moisture and keep the cloves from drying out.
3 – Set the packet in the dehydrator.
4 – Set the temperature to 55 – 80 °C. *
5 – Wait three weeks for your black garlic to be ready.

Recipe from Webmed.com

* The aging period of making black garlic will be shorter at higher temperatures. The quality and color of black garlic will be best between 70°C and 80°C. Because at higher degrees it will be bitter and sour and at lower, the color won’t be completely black. As previously mentioned black garlic doesn’t have as strong a flavor as fresh garlic, it turns sweeter and the texture goes from crispy to chewy.

We have used Black Garlic at our restaurant at PLANT POWER FOOD as toppings to dishes to add flavor and a pop of color. If you are interested in fermentation then you will enjoy our articles about fermentation, Kimchi & Umami.