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Roasted Garlic Gone Ahh… Good? – Black Garlic

Photo from the Black Garlic Inc. website.

“Ooo!” you may think to yourself as you cringe when you see what seems to be roasted garlic gone really, really bad.

However, it hasn’t gone bad at all. Rather this is the intentional outcome of a month long heat-curing fermentation process which turns fresh cloves of garlic into little obsidian nuggets, known as black garlic. They are meant to be sweet with a flavour likened to molasses, with hints of balsamic or even tamarind. The black garlic has its origins in Korea, Thailand and Japan, though mostly used for medicinal purposes or energy drinks.

I wonder if it’s one of those things that was discovered by accident? “Oops, I seemed to have accidentally left some heads of garlic in the oven roasting away for the past month. Hmm, how will they taste…” :)

I think they would add some interesting elements to dips, sauces or other recipes that would normally call for the regular roasted garlic.

If you got your hands on some of these, how would you want to use them?

Some links regarding black garlic:
Black Garlic Inc.
Black Garlic (food) entry at Wikipedia
Washington Post article
Feedbag article

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • FFichiban May 8, 2009, 7:35 am

    I believe the politically correct term is African-American garlic :P jkjkjk I’m not racist…but srsly I a intrigued esp if it is really sweet like molasses!

  • YaYa May 8, 2009, 10:54 am

    I love discovering new things to eat! Normal garlic baked is sweet anyway and caramelises beautifully when baked in bread, so this fermented stuff would have an added zing to it. Ahhh, that’s what I would do with it if I could get my hands on some, mince it and put it into some bread dough.

  • Yas May 8, 2009, 10:57 am

    woo black garlic! I’ve had it before as is and in a chocolate truffle. I remember it tasted more like raisins.

  • Iron Chef Shellie May 8, 2009, 11:58 pm

    I’ve never seen anything like it! Thanks for opening my eyes a little further!

  • lili - pikelet & pie May 9, 2009, 6:48 am

    Oh, I have been hearing so much about black garlic lately, would love to try it. I have no idea what I would do with it, having never tasted it.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 9, 2009, 1:48 pm

    I’m intrigued although I don’t tend to like fermented things (kim chee etc). have you tried Patrice Newell garlic? That stuff is brilliant!

  • Megan {Feasting on Art} May 9, 2009, 9:26 pm

    haha ‘oops I seem to have forgotten these heads of garlic for a month.’ It does make you wonder doesn’t it. I had never heard of this before but I can hardly wait to taste some!

  • Forager May 11, 2009, 6:43 am

    Ah – I just read about this in a US blog. Can we get this here?

    There are so many foods like this in the category of “who thought that was good to eat”? Like stinky tofu and civet cat coffee. Desperation breeds ingenuity?

  • Simon May 11, 2009, 9:55 pm

    Hi FFichiban! lol! I would be somewhat intrigued as well as roasted garlic is reasonably sweet as is.

    Hi YaYa! I’m all for new things as well. You bread idea sounds pretty good :)

    Hi Yas! Garlic chocolate? That’s quite interesting :)

    Great to know, coming from someone who has actually tried it!

    Hi Iron Chef Shellie! You’re welcome :) I hadn’t seen anything like it either until I came across it recently.

    Hi lili! Would love to try it as well!

    Hi Lorraine! No, but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it next season, or if there is still any of this season’s floating around!

    Hi Megan! I can’t wait to try it out myself, when the opportunity arises :)

    Hi Forager! I don’t know if it’s distributed locally. I’ve not seen anything with my searches thus far. Though I imagine if we ask certain fine food purveyors, they may be able to get their hands on this stuff. Either that or order online.

    It’s interesting what some cultures consider edible. Some of them gain general acceptance. Others stay on the fringe as culiary oddities or delicacies e.g. balut.

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