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Black Garlic

by Evan Orensten in Food + Drink on 06 May 2009

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Asian cuisines have long incorporated Black Garlic, but only more recently has this fermented version of the bulb been commercially available in the U.S. and Britain. Eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in cooking, it boasts a vinegary sweet flavor and health benefits.

After fermenting in clay containers for a month—with no additional ingredients added—the result is a mellower-tasting clove with ten times the antioxidants of raw garlic. The aging process also creates S-Arylcysteine, which has purported health benefits as a cancer- and cholesterol-fighter, and increases polyphenol content. While this sounds like something that would make the garlic smell like a hundred year egg, the smell is actually quite pleasant and not intense at all.

A quick search shows that black garlic is showing up on menus at Bix, Charlie Trotter, Monarch and Le Bernadin, as well as on shows like Top Chef.

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Black Garlic is currently available from some retail locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, online from Mondo Food (starting at about $4 per bulb) and from the Black Garlic site directly in the U.K., which also carries black garlic paste and juice.

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Read more about Black Garlic on Wikipedia.

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