Food & Drinks

What is Black Garlic? And How to Use it

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What is Black Garlic? And How to Use it
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Forget rainbow food and drink, and think black. Burger buns, macarons and even ice cream have recently all been seen turning to the dark side, along with vegetable charcoal.

Which brings us to black garlic. Not garlic that's gone bad, but the complex notes of regular whole bulbs of garlic that have undergone a fermentation process that turns them into an extra special jet black, soft and fudgy ingredient, a far cry from their pale, shiny and crunchy beginnings.

Perhaps you've seen them in the fruit and veg aisle, or come across them included on a menu or in a recipe, then asked yourself, what actually is black garlic? 

So, if you haven't yet explored the dark depths of black garlic here's the lowdown on the umami-packed, sweet and earthy black bulb.

What is black garlic exactly?

Black garlic is the result of a whole bulb that has experienced high heat, fermentation and a long ageing process, which allows the sweet flavours to develop along with a colour, textural and organoleptic change making it virtually unrecognisable from fresh garlic.

Black Garlic's Origins

Black garlic is actually nothing new, in fact there is even reference to its use in a Korean recipe some 4,000 years ago. Although it's only become a popular ingredient with Western chefs comparatively recently, it has been a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine for many years.

How do you use Black Garlic?

Black garlic can be used in the same way as those sweet squishy roasted bulbs of garlic, perfect for pureeing or squashing and adding intensity and extra depth to your dishes.

Here are 10 chefs divulging their top recipes for black garlic over at SeriousEats: from black ranch dressing to savoury ice cream.

Try Mario Batali's recipe for chard and ricotta ravioli with black ceci and black garlic

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