Black Garlic is the latest ingredient making a buzz in culinary circles. Whole heads of natural garlic are aged for 1 month in a special high-heat fermentation process. The aged garlic turns a rich black color with a soft, chewy texture and a mild, sweet-savory taste that might be classified as “umami” (the fifth taste – mostly present in savory and meaty foods). Some describe it as having a balsamic or molasses-like taste, others compare black garlic to beef bouillon
Black Garlic was first used and produced in South Korea were it was renowned for it’s health benefits and used as a health food. Offering nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as its regular counterpart, Black Garlic is low in fat, rich in natural sugars and amino acids and contains absolutely no additives, as well as promising to leave no trace of bad breath or smell. (Antioxidants are essential in the body for proper function of the immune system, as well as preventing and repairing damage to our body cells.)
Research also suggests that Black Garlic’s properties can help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. A study recently published by the BMC in October 2013 also established a link between Black Garlic and reducing the effects of age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Here is the recipe that introduced me to Black Garlic:
For the DIp:
1 x black garlic bulb (the entire head)
4 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, (Optional)
In a small blender, combine half the cloves of black garlic, sour cream, and olive oil until smooth. With a knife, mince remaining black garlic cloves. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in walnuts. Chill in refrigerator, covered, for 24 hours to let flavors meld.
Serve with vegetables or crackers.
Yields: 1 1/2 cups