"Reclaiming Homemade in a Small Space"

Friday, September 7, 2012

What in the World is THAT??? Black Garlic

I first heard of black garlic while watching an episode of Chopped on the Food Network.  It intrigued me...I watched the contestants taste it and saw that most of them liked it.  Fast forward to a couple of months ago, I saw a package for black garlic at Giant Eagle Market District.  I picked up the package to check it out but put it down.  I just wasn't sure what to do with it.  I was at Market District again recently and found myself with the package in my hand again.  I threw caution to the wind and bought some.  The package states that black garlic is made by fermenting high quality garlic blubs for three weeks, aging it for another week and then it is sent out to for curious gastronomes to try.

Below is a picture of one of the bulbs freed from the package.  It is slightly browned compared to a regular bulb.  The outside is still papery, but a slight squeeze will reveal the garlic is much softer than a normal blub. It still smelled like garlic but with a sweet note to it.

Peeling the individual cloves was a bit tricky.  The garlic was a little sticky, it reminded me some of the inside of a gumdrop.  (Not the taste or smell though.)

Below is what the individual clove looked like after peeling it.  I'll admit, it isn't the prettiest thing at the ball, but looks are deceiving here.  I sliced it up and gave it a taste.  I was immediately a fan.  It was definitely garlicy but not overly powerful...the fermentation took the bite out and added a mild sweetness.  It reminded me of molasses, but with savory overtones as well....think chutney.  The texture was soft and smooth and definitely less pungent.
The night I used it for the first time, I sliced up a few cloves and put them on pizza.  My husband and I both agreed we'd do that again.  It was really a nice change of pace.  The black garlic package suggests not only trying this on pizza, but also BBQ, beef, potatoes, Asian food, etc.  Black garlic does differ from regular garlic since it must be stored in the fridge once it is opened.

If you find black garlic at your local grocery store, buy some and give it a whirl.  At two bulbs for $5, it isn't an expensive experiment.  I've started incorporating into my recipes......be looking for how I've used this new ingredient at The Teeny Kitchen That Could.

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