The origins of black garlic can be dated back thousands of years first used in Asian cultures. It has only been in the last 10 years that a process has been patented to produce black garlic on a commercial scale, making it more widely available (and known).
Black garlic isn't fermented, but made by slowly cooking the garlic bulb at about 140°F for up to a month.
This slow heating process breaks down the garlic's sugars, changing its flavor profile and turns the cloves completely black. Essentially once the process is complete, a slow-caramelized garlic bulb is created.
What it tastes like
The flavor has very subtle hints of garlic (but with no garlic breath!) along with notes of balsamic vinegar, molasses, and tamarind. The jet black cloves are sticky and a bit chewy, so are best used finely chopped or mashed up with a fork before adding to things like salad dressings, savory sauces or dips.
Try adding just one clove at a time and do a taste test, then add more as needed. It's not like using regular baked garlic where you can add a lot before the flavor is really noticeable - a little goes a long way with black garlic.
Where to find it
Large format grocery stores and specialty food stores are your best bet for finding the black garlic. Sold pre-packaged, they are usually found in the produce section, near the fresh garlic. Be sure to check the expiration date as they are still a perishable product.
They can be stored at room temperature for up to a month, or refrigerated for up to four months.
Try out some of these amazing recipes below using black garlic!