Move over white garlic……black garlic is on the rise! With twice the antioxidant levels of white garlic, the word is going to spread….black garlic is here to stay! If you are asking yourself….how the heck is this garlic black? Allow me to explain.
To be clear, there are no additives, preservatives, or burning involved….of any kind. Black garlic is made by fermenting whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment in temperatures that range from 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 40 days. Once it’s removed from the heat, the garlic bulbs are placed in a dry area at room temperature to oxidize for 10 to 14 days.
The process results in a garlic that is matte-black, soft, a bit sticky, with a somewhat chewy texture, and a flavor similar to a caramelized balsamic vinegar. The normal taste of garlic disappears. It has a molasses like richness, with slight tangy garlic undertones. The process is not, strictly speaking, fermentative. The transformation is due not to microbial metabolism, but in part to enzymatic breakdown.
Now…..here’s the good stuff! Research has found that the aging/fermenting process appears to double its antioxidants, and makes it more effective than fresh garlic for reducing the size of tumors. Whoa! The compound S-allylcysteine (a natural component of fresh garlic and a derivative of the amino acid cysteine) was found in much greater concentrations in black garlic, and is thought to help lower cholesterol, as well as decrease the risk of cancer.
Not only can black garlic lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it also has anti-inflammatory effects, offers protection against infections as it’s a natural antibiotic, provides immune system support, and can increase circulation in the body. I also can’t forget to mention….black garlic is toxic to 14 types of cancers. I think we have a winner on our hands!
Give it a shot! It’s definitely worth it, and it tastes great! You can eat it alone, spread it on toast, eat it with cheese, add it to a sandwich, mix it with hummus, use it in a spice rub or marinade, or add it to a broth or sauce. The brand I bought is Black Garlic, www.blackgarlic.com, and I found it at Whole Foods.