Black garlic (food)

For other uses, see Black garlic.
Black garlic

Black garlic is a type of caramelized garlic (a Maillard reaction, not fermentation) first used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum) over the course of several weeks, a process that results in black cloves. The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic vinegar[1] or tamarind.[2] Black garlic's popularity has spread to the United States as it has become a sought-after ingredient used in high-end cuisine.

The process of producing black garlic is sometimes incorrectly referred to as fermentation, but it does not in fact involve microbial action.[3]


In Korea, black garlic was developed as a health product and it is still perceived as health supplementary food. Black garlic is prized as a food rich in antioxidants and added to energy drinks,[4][5] and in Thailand is claimed to increase the consumer's longevity.[6] It is also used to make black garlic chocolate.[7]

It was written up in the Spring 2008 "Design and Living" special section of The New York Times as a "new staple" of modern cuisine (and incorporated into a recipe, "Black Garlic Roast Chicken"); the NYT author, Merrill Stubbs, noted it was being used by chef Bruce Hill of Bix Restaurant, San Francisco.[8] Matthias Merges, executive chef at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, listed black garlic as one of his top five food finds in Restaurant News in December 2008.[9] The rise of black garlic in the US was called "sensational,"[10] and other trade publications besides Restaurant News have noticed the trend.[11]

Media references

It garnered television attention when it was used in battle redfish on Iron Chef America, episode 11 of season 7 (on Food Network), and in an episode of Top Chef New York (on Bravo),[12] where it was added to a sauce accompanying monkfish.[13]

In the United Kingdom,[6] where it made its TV debut on the BBC's Something for the Weekend cooking and lifestyle program in February 2009,[14] farmer Mark Botwright, owner of the South West Garlic Farm, explained that he developed a process for preserving garlic after finding a 4000-year-old Korean recipe for "black garlic."

In 2011, it was used on an episode of Food Network's Chopped Champions. In September 2011, it was a mandatory ingredient in the final round of the second episode of Ron Ben-Israel's Sweet Genius.[15]

It also was mentioned in the animated series Bob's Burgers in episode "Best Burger", in which Bob enters a best burger contest, but quickly realizes his titular ingredient is missing and sends his kids back to the restaurant to retrieve it in time for its preparation and inclusion in the burger.[16]

See also


  1. Pollack, Stefani (2008-11-20). "Black Garlic is Garlic, But Better". Slashfood. Archived from the original on 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  2. Nichols, Rick (2008-12-11). "Live and in person, the food bloggers munch". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. F1.
  3. Hatchett, Caroline. "The Dirty Secrets and Deep Flavor of Black Garlic". Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  4. Senapati, S.K; Dey, S.; Dwivedi, S.K; Swarup, D. "Effect of garlic (Allium sativum L.) extract on tissue lead level in rats". ScienceDirect. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. Fabricant, Florence (2008-10-07). "Garlic, Either Sweet or Squashed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  6. 1 2 "Zwarte knoflook zonder vieze adem". HLN. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  7. Levenstein, Steve. "Black Garlic Chocolates Add Aroma to Amore". Inventorspot. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  8. "Bruce Hill of Bix Restaurant in San Francisco, who says the garlic possesses distinct notes of balsamic vinegar, incorporates it into dishes ranging from roast chicken to grilled calamari with fregola and black garlic aioli. Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., is experimenting with ways to ferment his own sweet Italian garlic." Stubbs, Merrill (2008-05-04). "The New Staples: The Ingredients of the Season, from Terrestrial to Ethereal". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  9. "This process loads the garlic up with tons of probiotics which help to stabilize the intestine and strengthen the immune system. Matthias Merge, the executive chef at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, has black garlic listed as one of his top five food finds in Restaurant News in 2008." Krondl, Michael (2016-05-20). "7 Superfoods You May Not Know About". Archived from the original on 2016-05-20. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  10. Bradley, Cindy (2009-02-25). "New black magic: Black garlic is new food sensation in U.S.". HeraldTimes. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  11. "Black garlic: From dietary supplement to "in" ingredient". SmartBrief. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  12. Benwick, Bonnie S. (2009-02-25). "Black Garlic, the Next 'It' Thing". Washington Post. p. F04. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  13. Nerenberg, Kate (2009-02-05). "Top Chef Recap: Return of Ripert". Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  14. "Black Garlic Hits UK Market". Freshinfo. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  15. Edgar, James (7 May 2014). "Ancient 'black garlic' recipe found by farmer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2014.

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