What Can Black Garlic Do For You?
Black Garlic is an immune-system booster and an anti-viral agent. Its conversion process from fresh garlic to Black Garlic increases its potent antioxidant properties.
The antioxidants found in Black Garlic improve immunity by reducing inflammation, fighting free radicals, and preventing oxidative damage to our cells. It contributes to good liver, heart and brain health. In this capacity, it is unique.
We have all had dishes that tasted like they were missing the “oomph!” No matter what is mixed into the concoction, the flavour just seems “meh!” Next time you face this challenge, add 2-4 cloves of peeled Black Garlic into the dish. Voila! Magic. Problem solved! Its use is only limited by your imagination.
At Food 4 Life Market Garden™, we handpick only our best quality garlic bulbs to process them into Black Garlic. The garlic bulb or cultivar chosen has a high BRIX (sugar content). All garlic bulbs grown on our farm are certified organic by Ecocert Canada.
Note: Black Garlic is for eating only. Black Garlic is achieved by a cooking “fermentation” process. It is not a plant variety for planting.
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Our Black Garlic is the creation of our Resident Farmer-Chef, Meng.
Black Garlic is produced using quality raw garlic cooked at a low temperature with high humidity called the Maillard reaction.
The Maillard reaction is a complex process as sugars in the garlic react with the amino acids (protein), resulting in the characteristic black garlic colour.
As a result of this process, Black Garlic loses the pungent garlic taste and smell. Its nutritional value also dramatically increases.
Due to the reaction, the sugar is more pronounced, and Black Garlic is sweet with umami (savoury) rich flavour like balsamic vinegar or tamarind with a touch of smokiness and sourness. The Black Garlic also becomes soft and pliable and can be spread with a knife or eaten as is.
When processing our Black Garlic, we take extra care to ensure we maintain the low and slow temperature with optimal humidity to kill any pathogens and achieve food safety pH levels needed for garlic consumption & storage. Our process may take anywhere from 35 to 60 days.
We do not add any other ingredients to the garlic during the process. It is just one ingredient: our high-quality organic garlic.
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How Do You Store Black Garlic
Let it breathe, like wine in a decanter.
Our whole bulbs of Black Garlic are at their best when left out of the package at room temperature. They can also be stored in the fridge in a resealable bag.
We recommend keeping one bulb at a time outside of the resealable bag and keep the rest of the bulbs inside the bag and rotating them out of the bag as needed.
Whole bulbs have a natural casing and will minimize the Black Garlic scent in your kitchen.
Shelf-life: Room temperature (sealed bag) - 8 weeks
Shelf-life: Fridge (sealed bag) - 12 to 18 months
Note: Sometimes, our Black Garlic may be very syrupy and sticky inside the wrappers. This is due to the high sugar content. You can leave the whole bulb at room temperature to dry out further or you can use it as is.
Benefits & History
A Brief History
Garlic, as a horticultural crop, is among the oldest known crop. It dates as far back as 10,000 years ago (just after the last Ice Age). The first reference to the health benefits of garlic dates back 8,000 years ago in ancient Chinese writings.
Garlic may be small, but its flavours and benefits are mighty. It is packed with B Vitamins, Vitamin C, manganese, selenium, iron, copper and potassium.
Black Garlic is popular in various Asian cuisines. There is an ongoing debate on the origins of Black Garlic. Some say it was from China, others Japan or Korea. There has not been any clear recorded history of where the first Black Garlic was made.
In 2004, Scott Kim, a South Korean, invented an oven to process large batches of Black Garlic. This enabled everyone to have the immunity benefits of raw garlic, but in a sweeter and more palatable form. In a way, it can be claimed that Korea perfected the method of developing Black Garlic using modern techniques.
In 2007, Michael and Karen (Owners of Blue Fortune Farm located in Watertown, Wisconsin) replicated Mr. Kim’s process. They were able to test cook 500 pounds of garlic while using the trial-and-error method. They introduced locally produced Black Garlic to the USA market.
Black Garlic’s culinary use was introduced to the U.S. market via a 2005 Iron Chef episode. In Canada, Chef Mark McEwan’s store was one of the first that carried it in Toronto. While Black Garlic’s “fermentation” history is not as ancient as mead’s or as varied as Kim-chi, the flavour profile and uniqueness that it brings is worth exploring.
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How to Use
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Black Garlic is commonly eaten on its own by Black Garlic enthusiasts. The flavour of Black Garlic is most pronounced when it has been purÈed and added into neutrally flavoured foods such as mayonnaise, cream-based sauces, tomato sauces, soups, spreads, butter, bread, vinaigrettes or simply tossed into a vegetable dish. You can also freeze then grate it over your favourite dish!
Black Garlic pairs very well with all types of vinegar, especially balsamic vinegar. PurÈe or chop up our Black Garlic cloves, then add them into balsamic vinegar or soy sauce to make a reduction sauce for stir fry. Or use it chopped or purÈed with white vinegar and oil for a delicious salad dressing. Its texture softens with water content.
It’s especially great in desserts. Add it into maple syrup, or honey, or agave, etc. Then serve the sweet sauce on ice cream, pies, or drizzle over frosted cakes. You will be amazed! Chefs are even using it as a marinade for meats, duck confit & even their desserts like ice cream!
Black Garlic will have the most pronounced flavour in recipes when the food is prepared the day before. Plan ahead and add to your favourites, e.g. potato salad, stews, or sandwich spreads.
Note: If the recipe calls for using raw garlic (e.g. tomato sauce), you will need to use raw garlic. Black Garlic is not a raw garlic substitute. It improves the flavour of the recipe by a few notches.