WHAT IS BLACK GARLIC?
Black garlic is obtained from fresh garlic that has been fermented for a period of time at least 30 days under controlled high temperature (60–90°C) and high humidity (80–90%).
Scientists found that each clove of garlic has an astonishing 400 plus beneficial compounds. When compared with fresh garlic, black garlic does not release a strong off-flavour due to the reduced content of allicin, which was converted into antioxidant compounds such as bioactive alkaloids and flavonoid compounds during the fermentation process. The changes of physicochemical properties are the main reasons for enhanced bioactivity of black garlic. Besides daily consumption, several studies have reported that black garlic extract demonstrates several functions, such as anti-oxidation, antiallergic, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammation, and anti-carcinogenic effects.
Exact origins of black garlic are unknown and controversial. However, it has long been consumed in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand for centuries, and was introduced into Taiwan and other countries around 10 years ago.
Historical records indicate that garlic had been used as medicine as a diuretic, digestive aid, antibiotic, anti-parasitic, for colds, infections and a wide variety of other ailments.
The contents of chemical compounds of black garlic depend on the conditions during thermal processing. Some researchers reported that many valuable components increased during the fermentation process, especially polyphenol, flavonoids, antioxidants. Black garlic demonstrates significantly much higher biological activity, such as antioxidant properties, than fresh garlic.
Black garlic was listed among the top of cancer-fighting candidates.
Research indicates that garlic boosts circulation by increasing the production of hydrogen sulphide. Garlic contains numerous sulphur compounds that maintain healthy blood pressure levels and may also aid normal clotting. It is likened to taking low dose aspirin.
Garlic stimulates white blood cell activity required by the immune system for fighting infections including colds and fungal infections including candida.
It is theorised that garlic may enhance testosterone levels in both men and women suggesting that it may be of benefit to boost libido.
I have mentioned only some benefits, there are much more to list.
Garlic is used for seasoning food, especially in Asian countries. Just like fresh garlic can be used in many dishes, black garlic can be used to make pizza toppings, puree, legume rice dishes and any legume based dishes. The black garlic can also be an accompaniment with the cheese, chiles, smoked meat, sausages, grilled fish and much more.
My favourite way to use black garlic is to make salad dressing, which passes on the taste and flavour the best way.
Black garlic – 6-7 cloves
Lime juice – 5 tbsp
Olive oil – 4 tbsp
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds grind – 1 tsp
Cayenne or red chilli pepper – 1 pinch
Salt and pepper – to taste
Black garlic fermentation process requires specific conditions, which are not easy to fulfil at home, since you have to keep strict humidity and temperature during at least 30 days. But if you have a slow cooker or rice cooker at home and you are curious about the process, you can try by following the instruction described here.
You can store the black garlic for a long period of time, for up to 3 months, by just placing it in a jar and refrigerating it.